At the Flagler County Public Library: Florida History Through The Amazing Artwork of Harper’s Weekly


“Emigrants’ Noon Halt”, from 1872, by illustrator Solomon Eytinge (1833-1905), part of the Harper Weekly Collection of New York Public L: ibrary. (NYPL)

Friends of the Flagler County Public Library Library host a historical presentation by Zach Zacharias, Senior Curator of Education and History at the Daytona Beach Arts and Science Museum at 2 p.m. on January 28 at the Flagler County Public Library, 2500 Palm Coast Pkwy NW, Palm Coast.

The subject: “The history of Florida through the astonishing illustrations of Harper’s Weekly. “

Once America’s most popular newspaper from 1855 to 1910, Harper’s gave birth to modern journalism. Using stunning illustrations carved from woodcuts and new technology, Harper’s Illustrated Weekly could visually document moments in American and Florida history with great ease. A blend of art, technology, and history, this presentation takes you on a visual journey through the state during the Civil War and Florida’s Golden Age. The art is exquisite and the stories are amazing.

The website reports: “The Harper Brothers publishing house in New York set the standard for illustrated magazines with the unveiling of its hugely popular Harper’s Monthly Magazine in 1850, a posh literary magazine aimed at a large but distinguished audience. This publication showed that illustrations were now an indispensable part of a successful periodical, and after Frank Leslie (born Henry Carter; 1821-80) created Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Journal in 1855 with some success, Harper Brothers quickly followed suit. with its own illustrated weekly, Harper’s Weekly, in 1857. Unlike Leslie’s, which focused heavily on current events and sometimes even sensationalism, Harper’s followed its ancestor’s model, with less news and more content literary, and a quite respectable reputation.

“Henry Mills Alden, longtime editor of Harper’s Magazine, considered it to be the first ‘popular illustrated magazine’ when it was created in 1850,” Gib Prettyman wrote of Harper’s early years in the scholarly journal American periodicals in 2001. “As such, Alden thought to himself, it had served as a” veritable encyclopedia of the living world, “an” intimate blend of a magazine with the thoughts and lives of a whole people, including the Intellectual and emotional sensitivity was so quickly sensitive to his imaginative literature, and whose curiosity was so fully satisfied by his travel and exploration articles and others of an informative nature.

Prettyman continues: “Harper’s Weekly: A Journal of Civilization, first published in 1857, entered the 1880s as one of the country’s most popular and influential periodicals. Its editor, George William Curtis, and its political cartoonist, Thomas Nast, were recognized as important shapers of national public opinion. Nast was at the height of his fame after the successful campaign against famed New York Boss Tweed in the early 1970s; during Nast’s attacks on Tweed, the magazine’s circulation tripled […]. Politically, the magazine shared the postwar Republican triumph while maintaining principled independence of judgment and constantly calling for civil service reform and other purely partisan decisions. Along with Curtis’ editorials and Nast’s caricatures, The Weekly stood out for the quality and quantity of its illustrations at a time when the laborious woodcut process made images costly and journalistically burdensome. .

If you have any questions, please contact the library at (386) 446-6763.