Little Magazines
April 23, 2012 7:06 PM   Subscribe

Beginning in the 1910s, a combination of new ideas and technologies generated a proliferation of little magazines. These magazines made possible the revolutionary movement known as modernism. Little magazines promoted artistic and political movements ranging from Imagism, Futurism, Cubism, Surrealism, and Dada, to Anarchism, Socialism, Communism, and Feminism. Little magazines provided a stage for modernist innovations ranging from New Art and the New Music, to the New Negro and the New Woman. Little magazines championed individual liberties ranging from free verse, to free speech, and free love. Today, we are using the World Wide Web to produce a database dedicated to these important periodicals.
posted by latkes (11 comments total) 32 users marked this as a favorite
Sadly they don't include my two favorite examples of little magazines: Jim Jam Jems (a North Dakota product!) and The Philistine (of which I own a complete set, sans indexes sadly).
posted by AzraelBrown at 7:10 PM on April 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

Neat. Thanks.
posted by Miko at 7:28 PM on April 23, 2012

Thanks for the link---that's great stuff. I'm always amazed by how potent these proto-'zines were, and stunned by how much of the now-canonical art was produced for these tiny circulation publications. I wonder if this site will ever expand to cover some of the amazing post-revolution "little magazines" to come out of Russia, which are of interest even for non-Russian readers for their high-modern graphic design.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 7:47 PM on April 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

I'll just put this here.
posted by 3.2.3 at 8:17 PM on April 23, 2012 [2 favorites]

Ooh! My university has one of the largest archives in the world of these magazines. I've studied some of them. LACMA also has large holdings, and had a big exhibit of these, must have been in the late 1980s.

I'm currently investigating a similar movement of small magazines in Japan that is roughly concurrent with these, I heard my school also has a large collection of them but I haven't located them yet. There were many Gariban Magazines that were mimeographed but often the covers and some inside pages were done in multicolors so they looked more like fine art printmaking. And in fact, there are still a few artists working today in this medium. You know, right now I'm trying to get admitted to my local MFA program in Book Arts so I can get a grant to go to Japan and study this.
posted by charlie don't surf at 8:25 PM on April 23, 2012 [3 favorites]

Emme Goldman's Mother Earth is pretty much as kick-ass as I expected.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:33 PM on April 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

This is cool stuff for sure but unless I'm missing something the site only offers a half-dozen or so scans from each magazine. Folks who want more of, say, Wyndham Lewis' seminal Blast Magazine can view both issues in their entirety at Brown University's Modernist Journals Project. The same goes for a bunch of other mags referenced at the Davidson site - The Owl, the amazing proto-dada Le Petit Journal des Réfusées, dozens of full issues of Poetry...if you like this kind of thing the complete scans at the Modernist Journals Project might be up your alley, too.
posted by mediareport at 9:23 PM on April 23, 2012 [4 favorites]

Thanks mediareport! You're right, there are only a few samples from each magazine. I've been googling and finding full scans of some but not all.
posted by latkes at 9:25 PM on April 23, 2012

I love this particular period in art and writing so much, latkes, so thanks to you for getting me to think about it again. :)
posted by mediareport at 9:33 PM on April 23, 2012

This is a bit english language-centric, especially as Dada and Surrealism came mainly out of Europe Here is some foreign stuff
391. Edited by Francis Picabia. Barcelona, New York, Zurich, Paris, 1917-1924
Dada. Edited by Tristan Tzara. Zurich, Paris, 1917-1921
Littérature. Edited by Louis Aragon, Andre Breton, and Philippe Soupault. Paris, 1919-1924.
And much more at the International Dada Archive
Another useful resource is Documents of Dada and Surrealism: Dada and Surrealist Journals in the Mary Reynolds Collection.
Article and extracts from Jacob Bronowski's Experiment magazine Cambridge, England, 1928–31
This is a self link to some other magazines and periodicals mainly concerned with Surrealism and Dada; sadly I can find no scans of many of these.
posted by adamvasco at 5:13 AM on April 24, 2012 [5 favorites]

adamv, you have tapped into part of the archives at my school that I was referring to. I have a wonderful full reprint of Tzara's DADA magazine series published as a commemoration of the founding of the International Dada Archive. Their holdings are just astounding, and they have done a pretty decent job of putting them online at high resolution.
posted by charlie don't surf at 7:57 AM on April 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

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