Cover: The Photographic Times: 1902
JournalThe Photographic TImes 1902
Support Dimensions: 25.7 x 17.3 cm
A new cover design was introduced for The Photographic Times beginning with this issue in January, 1902. English artist Lennox G. Bird, who went by the professional moniker Curlew, (a playful association with his last name) had entered and won the Photographic Times silver medal competition the previous year. Beginning in February, 1901, the Times gave details for needing a new cover to replace George Richard Quested’s Veritas design gracing the cover since January, 1895. In the February, 1901 issue it was announced:
A Photographic Times silver medal will be given for the best design for a new cover for this magazine, using the present lettering which should be clear and distinct. It should be permissible of being printed in two colors and must be attractive. …The competition will close March 31, 1901, and all entries must be made on or before that date at the office of the Photographic Times, 3 and 5 West Nineteenth street. New York. …Designs or articles will be returned provided stamps be enclosed for return postage. The prize-winning design will be used for the cover of this magazine.
The competition, extended through April 30th, produced this wood-engraved, Art-Nouveau design by Bird featuring a woman in a long dress aiming her box camera towards a park-like setting.
References to Bird, whose signature monogram LG BIRD shows up in the right-hand corner of the panel featuring the woman on this cover, are abundant in the English journal The Studio (An Illustrated Magazine of Fine and Applied Art) around the turn of the 20th century. Bird is listed as having won multiple awards in their frequent design competitions. In 1899 for example, he is listed as having won the first prize of five guineas for a “Design for Tea and Coffee Service”. At the time, he was listed as being stationed at the Royal Marine Baracks in Chatham, England when he won the award. Later, in 1901, he is mentioned in another publication for his striking black and white sketch for Tansan, a Japanese mineral water. In 1903, The Studio published his address as being 3 Minor Canon Row, Rochester after winning first prize for his design for an advertisement. In 1905, the magazine lists his address as 10 Gatestone Road, Upper Norwood, London, S.E. 1.