Friday, 22 March 2013


Wheels within wheels: one of Europeana's contributors is Culture Grid, subject of my last blog post.
(C) Europeana
Europeana is work in progress, but already has nearly 6,300 hits for ephemera, mainly so far from The European Library and Hispana.   Additionally, there are over 35,000 entries under postcard (nearly 27,000 under Postkarte), many part of Europeana's major 1914-1918 project.

(C) Europeana

The list of Europeana participants includes the University of Ghent, which will contribute Posters of the late 19th century and ephemera. 

This will be a major resource. Developments can be followed on Facebook, on a blog and on Twitter.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Culture Grid

Culture Grid is a platform through which institutional collections can be cross-searched. These include pre-existing cross-searchable projects such as VADS (and therefore the John Johnson Collection Political Cartoons and Trades and Professions Prints) and Exploring 20th century London.

The site is rich in ephemera, notably posters, advertisements, postcards, labels, etc. The three million items can either be searched by such genre terms or by subject (which can be narrowed down to posters, etc), or by institution.

(C) Culture Grid
The list of contributing institutions (which can be found by searching, then selecting 'more search options' and activating the 'Select collections' button) is extensive and includes regional collections, with many gems for the ephemerist.

(C) Culture Grid



I didn't find a browse function or a way just to get an overview of the contribution of each institution, but for real researchers doing real enquiries this site will reveal lesser known material.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Jules Chéret and Alphonse Mucha

My recent work on Eugène Rimmel for a mini online exhibition on my other blog: The John Johnson Collection: Now and Then led me to explore his little-known collaboration with his countryman Jules Chéret.

It was Chéret who compiled Les Maitres de l'Affiche. Published by Imprimerie Chaix between 1895 and 1900, this monthly publication showcased international lithographic poster art, including works by Toulouse Lautrec, Chéret himself, Steinlen, and Dudley Hardy.

It is now very easy to gain an overview of the works of artists, especially poster artists, through commercial sites, usually showing reproductions which can be ordered as prints, mugs, T shirts, etc. Googling offers quick and easy ways to see the works of Jules Chéret, Toulouse Lautrec, Steinlen, Dudley Hardy and others. The commercial All posters site includes the facility to view international musuem holdings, e.g. from the Musée Toulouse Lautrec in Albi, as well as searching by artist.

The complete works - Jules Chéret is a site which, while it does not include Chéret's work on valentines or almanacs, does present the advertising posters (124 images) for which he is famous, in an attractive manner.   There is also a biography. This too is a commercial site, offering hand-painted reproductions of the works, but there is, nevertheless, some descriptive metadata.

For more academic sites, with metadata, however, Gallica again  reveals what a rich resource it is, with no fewer than 1,165 results for Chéret, Jules, many from the Médiathèque de Chaumont. There are many  hundreds for Mucha, Lautrec etc.

(C) Gallica
 The V&A site also has a weatlth of posters, with a supporting study guide, which includes a superb bibliography.
(C) V&A

(C) Mucha Foundation

My interest in Alphonse Mucha was rekindled by a visit to Prague last summer, where I visited both Mucha museums. The Mucha Foundation has a wonderful website, full of information and with over 300 images of Mucha's key works