I love poking around the Internet Archive. I never know what I’m going to find. Different subjects, a vast array of time periods, and representations from the written word to visual art can be found. When I do go to the archive I spend hours there. As a person who loves, books, poetry, drawing, painting, movies, music, architecture, and history, it’s a candy shop of all those things and more.
My latest favorites are the Shin Bijutsukai design magazine collection issues, from Japan, in the early 1900’s. The Internet Archive has dozens and dozens of them. Most of the text is in Japanese, but some parts do have English translations. It doesn’t really matter if you can’t read Japanese, the artwork in each issue, page after page, is a visual feast and soulful delight.
The gallery I’ve created of some of my favorite pages below, of volume one, was originally in the Cooper Union Museum, but by the time it was scanned into the Internet Archive it was in the Smithsonian Collection. Some of the other magazines are from the Getty Research Institute scans.
Almost all of the pages from the magazines clearly represent Japanese philosophy of the period, use cultural representations of objects common in Japan at the time, and almost all incorporate nature as the dominate theme. Each magazine is like going to an art gallery show in 1900’s Japan and just getting lost in it.
I hope you fall in love with them as much as I did!