Saturday, January 30, 2010

Celebrities Monthly. One of my favorite finds. Amazing photography

I probably mentioned part of this before, but its worth repeating. I first heard of this magazine in conjunction for a show I contributed to at MOMA, and subsequently found the first issue for sale on ebay. After purchasing it (from my now friend, Nick Certo) I inquired whether he had any more and found that he had the entire run. Obviously I jumped the chance to buy it, finding to my glee that, not only was it illustrated with original tipped-in photographs, the run included an issue that was previously unknown.

I have posted the cover of first issue before, but decided to share other images with you.

Celebrities Monthly was a "who's who" of the late 19th century, including vignettes of artists, actors and actresses, authors, inventors, business leaders, feminists, socialites and even a future president (TR). As you can see, the photos are original prints by some of the finest photographic studios of the day, rare and collectible in their own right.

Here's the ULS listing for the magazine, documenting the presence of five institutional holdings, only one (Harvard) allegedly complete. You will also note that the run ends at volume 2 number 4.

Here is the cover, frontis and Joseph Pulitzer vignette from volume 2 number 5. Interestingly, Pulitzer made it into the magazine but his arch competitor, William Randolph Hearst, didn't!

Here's another notable image from the run and an incomplete (excluding the last three issues) index. If anyone would like the page of anyone in the index, I'd be happy to send it.

While we're an the subject of great photography, I felt compelled to share with you a image I recently came across on the web that is peripherally related to the above magazine. I've spent a great deal of time looking at it, a magnificent photo of the Flat Iron Bulding in NYC under construction. Each section of the photo tells its own story, there's even one horseless carriage!

For those who love history as I do, I think you will appreciate the snapshot of life in turn of the century NYC. The publisher of Celebrities Monthly was a mere block north of this location and the photo was taken only 5 years after the magazine was published. You can easily imagine Maud Adams walking these very streets.

See you again soon!

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