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Cincinnati Art History Published in Print, Online

Date: Jan. 17, 2002
By: Dawn Fuller
Phone: (513) 556-1823
Archive: General News

A partnership between the University of Cincinnati Digital Press (UCDP) and the Ohio University Press in Athens has resulted in the publication of a rich exploration of Cincinnati's printing history, both in print and online. Art As Image - Prints and Promotion in Cincinnati, Ohio explores Cincinnati's history in art and print back to the days of the Old Northwest Territory. The work already has received acclaim from Library Journal, which writes the publication is "ideal for primary research, and students of media studies, American history, and visual culture..." Advertisement for the Cincinnati Lithographic Company, courtesy of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County

The history, a collection of essays from the area's most respected designers, historians and museum and art curators, showcases how Cincinnati's publishing industry led the nation in art, design and promotion.

Alice Cornell, assistant director/editor-in-chief of the University of Cincinnati Digital Press, edited the text. Staff of UCDP assisted with the preparation of the index, the processing of images for the book and website as well as the preparation of the website itself. The collections of images in the publication are housed in Archives and Rare Books as well as the Cincinnati Historical Society Library, The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, and the Playing Card Museum in Norwood.

Among the history detailed in the book are promotional playing cards, used to promote goods and services and celebrate everything from promotions to coronations. The chapter was written by Ronald Decker, curator of the Playing Card Museum. Cincinnati designer Noel Martin includes a chapter that examines the city's19th century print and design technique from the perspective of a current day graphic designer. Virginius C. Hall, retired associate director of the Virginia Historical Society, researches why the variety of skills and artists made Cincinnati a leading name in engraving. Cornell says published posters to promote the Cincinnati Industrial Expositions from 1870 to 1888 include beautiful examples of lithography. Bookcover for Art As Image

"We've (UCDP) have never produced an entire book before," says Cornell. "We've done digital publications and those are challenging. This was a good exercise for us and a wonderful collaboration with the hard copy publisher, Ohio University Press."

The book costs $49.95 and can be ordered through or from the Ohio University Press at Abstracts and color images can be viewed online through the University of Cincinnati Digital Press website by clicking here.

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