With the Bank Holiday on Monday, this week’s Photo Friday is a wry look at the Art Student on Holiday, taken from the Liverpool Art School Archives held in Archives and Special Collections in the Library. This particular drawing can be found in Issue 1 of the Liverpool City School of Art’s magazine, ‘The Comet’.
The founding principles of the magazine were summed up in the editorial in Issue 1 as ‘to try and kindle the latent spark of Bohemianism that must exist in so many of our most aesthetic hearts’. The editorial goes on to ‘ask for articles, criticisms, poems, sketches, – anything that will give us something in common, that we can talk of, exchange views upon, that will help us to forget while we are Art Students, that we are melancholy followers of early Victorian conventions.’ It was intended for the magazine to be published monthly, with contributions from both female and male art students at the school.
The Archives holds 10 original copies of the Comet, from Issue 1 in June 1910 to the final issue in November 1913, which states that thence forward it will merge with Manchester’s paper (the Dragon) to form a new combined magazine (at that point untitled). The copies we hold consist of loose handwritten pages of decorated prose, poetry and (sometimes lengthy) editorials, and original sketches, drawings and paintings. It is not clear how they were reproduced as we have no ‘printed’ copies in the collection, apart from one printed copy with no date, which claims to be a revival of the former title. They provide a fascinating insight into the work and attitudes of those students who contributed. A particular favourite is a lengthy editorial from 1911 declaring that the men were no longer suffragists as the female art students were clearly not equal – all because they kept their common room much tidier and cleaner than the men kept theirs! One wonders what the female readers and contributors thought of this!
We intend to digitise all of the magazines over the summer to add to our Digital Collections, but if anyone would like to view them before that, please get in touch in the usual way. In the meantime – enjoy the bank holiday!