Dingbats, head and tailpieces, fleurons, lunettes, scrolls, no matter what you call them, printers’ ornaments were made to decorate the page. They derive from and continue the aesthetic that informed the decorative work in illuminated manuscripts. Printers continued the scribes’ tradition, using embellishments to mark the end of a passage or chapter, fill in empty space or add a decorative element to the page. These ornaments have been around since the invention of moveable type in the 15th century.
Owen Jones and the Grammar of Ornament
Owen Jones (1809-1874) was a British architect and designer famous for his work in color theory. Jones began his career as a traveling scholar collecting information on the architectural styles of Europe and Africa. During this journey he saw the Alhambra in Granada, Spain and was inspired by the Moorish geometric shapes, flat patterns and polychromatic techniques. Back in England, he disseminated his findings, incorporating various stylistic elements into museum surveys, curricula for the Government School of Design, and his own theory of a uniquely nineteenth-century style of architecture.
Ver Sacrum, which means Sacred Spring, was published in Vienna from 1898 to 1903 by the Vienna Sezession, a group of artists who favored an experimental approach to the arts. Ver Sacrum was one of the outstanding artistic and literary journals of its day. The editors sought to create unity on the printed page between the text, the typography and the ornamentation. Even advertisements were done in the distinctive Secessionist style.
Ver Sacrum’s literary contributors included distinguished figures such as Rainer Maria Rilke and Maurice Maeterlinck. The journal contained illustrations by the leading Viennese artist Gustav Klimt as well as other key figures such as Josef Hoffmann, Koloman Moser, Joseph Olbrich, and theatre designer Alfred Roller.
Kentucky Alliance Oral History Project
In 1973 Black Panther and Communist Party member Angela Davis mobilized activist friends Ben Chavis, Charlene Mitchell and Carl Braden to come together to form a nationwide organizing effort to free activists of color from jail. The result of their efforts was the formation of the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression (NAARPR). View the Kentucky Alliance Oral History Project exhibit.
Examining Louisville's 1961 Civil Rights Demonstrations
In the spring of 1961, as college students across the south demonstrated for the integration of restaurants, theaters and other public accommodations, a group of high school students in Louisville, Kentucky took the lead in challenging segregation.
This exhibit shares the stories of a small number of the thousands of people involved in this particular fight for justice in Louisville 50 years ago. Hear their stories about why they felt they needed to act. Find out what it was like to prepare and participate in one of the demonstrations. Listen to stories of how some parents reacted to their child’s arrest. Learn about the ways some whites supported the students’ efforts. Discover how these events 50 years ago forever changed Louisville. View the Civil Rights Demonstrations exhibit.
Born in 1844 in Kyoto, Japan, Kōno Bairei was one of the leading practitioners of the ukiyo-e school (scenes of daily life) specializing in pictures of birds and flowers (kacho-ga). Unlike the majority of ukiyo-e artists, he was trained as a classical Japanese painter, studying with several masters of various classical painting styles. He was in favor of a modern system of arts education, and is generally considered one of the most influential literati painters of the period.