ArtMagick is an ongoing personal project by Julia Kerr dedicated to the continual quest of seeking
out obscure 19th century artists, poetry, books and long-forgotten paintings showing a "magic world of romance
and pictured poetry":
The curtain had been lifted, and we had had a glimpse into a magic world of romance and
pictured poetry, peopled with ghosts of "ladies dead and lovely knights," -- a twilight world
of dark mysterious woodlands, haunted streams, meads of dark green starred with burning flowers,
veiled in a dim and mystic light, and stained with low-toned crimson and gold, as if indeed one
had gazed through the glass of "Magic casements opening on the foam Of perilous seas in faerylands
forlorn." (Walter Crane)
The design for the ArtMagick website was partly inspired by a lavish manuscript of
The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, featuring the illuminations of Alberto Sangorski, brother of
Francis Sangorski, who, with George Sutcliffe, founded the famous British bookbinding firm Sangorski and Sutcliffe.
A priceless, jewelled version of this book, "The Great Omar", was lost on the Titanic in 1912. The version used for ArtMagick dates from circa 1910. The illustrations were by E. Geddes (possibly Ewan Geddes (Scottish, 1866-1935)), and the borders,
initials and writing by A. Sutcliffe. The illustration which
inspired ArtMagick's logo illustrates the final stanza (number 75):
And when Thyself with shining Foot shall pass
Among the Guests Star-scatter'd on the Grass,
And in thy joyous Errand reach the Spot
Where I made one -- turn down an empty Glass!
Pages from The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam
by Sangorski and Sutcliffe (c. 1910).
Many thanks to all the people from around the world who have helped me, in one form or another,
with the ArtMagick website. In particular, thanks go to the following people:
Cathy and Ken Baker, Scott Thomas Buckle, Joyce Gibson, Susan Katz, Michael Kelley, Mark Samuels Lasner,
"mischief" (sorry, don't know your real name!), Peter Nahum, Jim Nordstrom, Judy Oberhausen, Nic Peeters,
Lesley Pollinger, Leonard Roberts, Fred Ross, Peter Trippi, Annabel Watts.
(Oops, have I forgotten you? Please send me an email to jog my memory!)
The categories, and category/image association, displayed in the
ArtMagick Themes section were created by
Cathy Baker, Susan Katz, Julia Kerr and "mischief".