The Art of Printing and the Culture of the Art Periodical in Late Imperial Russia (1898-1917)

  • Author / Creator
    Chuchvaha, Hanna
  • This interdisciplinary dissertation explores the World of Art (Mir Iskusstva, 1899-1904), The Golden Fleece (Zolotoe runo, 1906-1909) and Apollo (Apollon, 1909-1917), three art periodicals that became symbols of the print revival and Europeanization in late Imperial Russia. Preoccupied with high quality art reproduction and graphic design, these journals were conceived and executed as art objects and examples of fine book craftsmanship, concerned with the physical form and appearance of the periodical as such. Their publication advanced Russian book art and stimulated the development of graphic design, giving it a status comparable to that of painting or sculpture. This work offers a detailed examination of the first or “inaugural” numbers, which represented manifesto-like editorial positions expressed in words and images. Thus, the World of Art announced the Europeanization of art theories and art themes and offered a Russian version of Art Nouveau; The Golden Fleece promoted Symbolist art, while Apollo advocated Apollonianism as a “classical revival”. In exploring journals as art objects, this dissertation engages Gérard Genette’s notion of “paratext”, which serves as an umbrella approach to the explanation of the material dimension of the periodical. Treated as spatio-temporal media combinations, the art periodicals are analyzed as complex artefacts that combine text and image, which together affect meaning. This dissertation also explores in detail the historical preconditions of the rise of art journals, i.e. the emergence of the first art periodicals and illustrated press in the nineteenth century, the development of reproduction technologies and the role of art reproductions in culture – all of which are factors that led to the appearance of the journals as art objects. Further, it analyses the socio-historical context of the formation and function of editorial boards and examines the periodicals’ ideologies as articulations of “group identities” that became the impetus behind the art journals’ visual appearance.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2012
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.