Monday, April 26, 2004

27 Horizon; a magazine of the arts

As I flip the pages the dank smell of dampness reminds me I probably purchased this after our street flooded in the 1970s. We had no basement, so we were the only family that didn’t put belongings out at the curb. When the first issue of Horizon appeared on the horizon in September 1958, I was too busy enjoying myself at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana to pay attention to Keats or Brueghel or even Kerouac or Ginsberg, all of whom were featured in the first issue. Isn’t it amazing. Willem de Kooning’s and Jackson Pollock’s paintings look as strange today as they did then! “The painter was not painting an object but his own state of mind,” the author explains.
“Culture, the concern of this new magazine, is both achievement and dream, a work of the hands and a movement of the spirit, the special property of man since the great miracle of the Sixth Day. . . Culture is art and ideas, past and present, taken in sum as a guide to life. It is history too, the science which Dionysius tells us is ‘philosophy teaching by examples,’ with philosophy suspended between the I-believe of theology and the I-know of science. [I think that is reversed in 2004].” wrote the Editors of Volume I, number 1.
The bright red cover had a color insert of the first Englishwoman to brave the skies, Mrs. Letitia Ann Sage, floating over London in 1785, represented in the painting “The Three Favorite Aerial Travellers,” by J. F. Rigaud. The ballooning article from p. 114 to p. 128 is quite wonderful. And here is an article on overpopulation by Julian Huxley, “Man’s challenge: the use of the earth,” in which he decries deforestation, overpopulation, bad cultivation, over consumption of fossil fuels, the shrinking wilderness, and over production. Having just “celebrated” the 30th anniversary of Earth Day, that certainly has a familiar ring to it. This first issue contains a “Genesis” portfolio of great nature photographs complete with the first 31 verses of Genesis 1 and a page from Paradise Lost by John Milton, first edition, 1669. The retrospective about Broadway compares the 50s with the 20s and 30s and finds the 50s pallid and over sexualized.

Ohiolink indicates only one library in the system has cataloged this journal--and that was done incorrectly, stating the eleventh volume of September 1959, which means the cataloger misread Roman Numeral II as an 11. The holdings statement for City College of San Francisco noted: "Keep forever." That's sweet.

Horizon; a magazine of the arts
September 1958, Volume I, Number 1
ISSN: 0018-4977 (supplied)
Status: Ceased with v. 32, no. 2 (Mar./Apr. 1989)
Subject: Culture
Publication schedule, bi-monthly
American Horizon, Inc.
American Heritage Publishing Co., Inc.
551 Fifth Avenue
New York 17, NY
$3.95, $18.00 collector’s web site
Editor: Joseph J. Thorndike, Jr.
Managing Editor: William Harlan Hale
Publisher: James Parton

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