Author(s): Julie Anne Lambert (Editor)
Exploring the developing practice of advertising in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, The Art of Advertising presents illuminating essays alongside striking illustrations from the John Johnson Collection of Printed Ephemera. Featuring rarely-seen images from the 1700s to the 1900s by a wide range of artists, including influential illustrators such as John Hassall and Dudley Hardy, this attractive book invites us to consider both the intended and unintended messages of the advertisements of the past. During this period, advertisers pushed the boundaries of a new medium by exploring innovative printing techniques, manipulating language, inspiring new art forms, and introducing advertising to unexpected formats such as calendars, bookmarks, and games. This collection of essays examines the extent to which these standalone advertisements--which have survived by chance and are now divorced from their original purpose--provide information not just on the sometimes bizarre products being sold, but also on class, gender, Britishness, war, fashion, and shopping. Starting with the genesis of an advertisement through the creation of text, image, print and format, the authors go on to examine the changing profile of the consumer, notably the rise of the middle classes, and the way in which manufacturers and retailers identified and targeted their markets. Finally, they look at advertisements as documents that both reveal and conceal details about society, politics, and local history. With contributions from Michael Twyman, Lynda Mugglestone, Helen Clifford, Ashley Jackson, and David Tomkins, The Art of Advertising is a richly informative assessment of the role advertising plays in our culture.