Thursday, 10 April 2014

American Advertising

The Art of American Advertising 1865-1910 is an exhibition at the Baker Library of the Harvard Business School. Drawing extensively on its historical collections, the exhibition takes an analytical approach to the use of art in relation to its themes:: National Markets, Advertising Products, Trade Catalogs, Trade Cards, Souvenirs & Novelties, Scrapbooks & Collectibles, The Art of 'Posting',  Brand Name Management, and A Marketing Revolution.

The online version is extensively  illustrated and can be seen either as a series of illustrated essays, or as galleries.

(C) Harvard Business School. Baker Library

Meanwhile, the Winterthur Museum Library has impressive online content relating to its advertising collections, with thousands of images. The numbers attached to the suggested searches speak for themselves. This is a very rich resource: Book industries (83), Clocks and watches (328), Clothing and dress (235), Department stores/Dry goods (173), Food (261), Furniture (492), Jewelry (414), Medicine (187), Music (156), Pottery (59), Sewing (234), Stoves (114), Tobacco (149), Advertisements (125), Poster stamps (1840), Trade cards (4018), Textile fabrics (94).




There is more: much more: images of Bookplates, French candy wrappers, Funeral and Mourning Ephemera (the William Frost Mobley Collection), Indentures, Lantern Slides, and 171 calendars and 295 cigar labels from the Grossman Collection. The image quality is outstanding, with zoom enabling every detail of the printing process (chromolithography in the case of the Grossman collection) to be studied.

All collections have overviews, outlining their extent and scope. The Grossman Collection, which I was privileged to see many years ago in California, has c. 250,000 items of high-quality ephemera.

I also particularly like the click-through facility in all fields, which enables you to see images of trellis, for example, across the collections.

As described in a previous post, more than 900 trade catalogs are available through the Internet Archive.

Content is continually being added and subscriptions to RSS feeds are available at collection level.


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