Intricate tableaux framed by letters was one of those curious 19th century eccentricities. Collage and montage were novel techniques and the public couldn’t get enough novelty. Here is an odd alphabet that is both beauteous and disturbing. The former for its eclecticism, the latter for what it says about the nature and perfection. The idyllic scenes suggest a kind of perfect (eugenic) breeding. What society should be, not what it really was.
About Steven Heller Steven Heller is the co-chair of the SVA MFA Designer /Designer as Author + Entrepreneur program, writes frequently for Wired and Design Observer. He is also the author of over 170 books on design and visual culture. He received the 1999 AIGA Medal and is the 2011 recipient of the Smithsonian National Design Award.View all posts by Steven Heller →