Jessica Horsley, Der Almanach des Blauen Reiters als Gesamtkunstwerk: eine interdisziplinäre Untersuchung (Frankfurt/M.: Peter Lang, 2008), 493 pp.

As probably the most important primary source of the Modernist period, The Blue Rider almanac (Munich: Piper, 1912) contains essays on art and artists as well as music, numerous pictures of a wide variety of artworks, three scores, a poem, a prose extract, an essay by Kandinsky on his theory of “Stage Composition” and one such work, The Yellow Sound. In her book, Jessica Horsley offers the first-ever analysis of the almanac as a whole. Her comprehensive study establishes it as the most important twentieth-century attempt to theorise and exemplify a Gesamtkunstwerk (total work of art).

“the most important step on the road to an “art-historical Cultural History”…”
Franziska Uhlig (Berlin), in sehepunkte – 8, no. 12 (2008)

“This is a fascinating subtle and probing book, written with an enviable clarity, which deserves to be translated into English and become a standard reference work.”
Nicholas Stargardt (Magdalen College, Oxford) in English Historical Review CXXIV (508) 2009, p. 750.

> Purchase


“”There you have Munich”: Der Blaue Reiter (1912), Revolution (1913), Der Weg (1919)”, in Peter Brooker, Andrew Thacker, Christian Weikop & Sascha Bru (eds): Modernist Magazines, vol. III, ch. 23
(Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013)

The third of three volumes devoted to the cultural history of the modernist magazine in Britain, North America, and Europe, this collection contains fifty-six original essays on the role of “little magazines” and independent periodicals in Europe in the period 1880–1940. It demonstrates how these publications were instrumental in founding and advancing developments in European modernism and the avant-garde. Jessica Horsley’s contribution focuses on Der Blaue Reiter, Revolution, and Der Weg: “There you have Munich”!

“a pioneering three-volume survey… gives a masterly overview of the period as well as authoritative potted studies of a host of individual journals”
Hugh Haughton, Literary Review

“As a reference book, it could hardly be improved.”
Marjorie Perloff, The Times Literary Supplement

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“”Eyewitnessing”? History and Visual Sources”, in History Compass, vol. 7, issue 5 (2009), pp. 1317–1337

If history has experienced a ‘pictorial’ or visual turn in the past two decades, how widespread is this shift and how deep does it run? What is the relationship of the discipline of history to visual sources? This article assesses the current state of the field by investigating Peter Burke’s book Eyewitnessing. It considers not just the original edition but also its various translations to illuminate aspects of visual sources and the historian’s approach to them.

> Available online

“Bilder als historische Quellen: Gedanken zu Peter Burkes Eyewitnessing und zur Problematik der “Augenzeugenschaft””, in Cardiff Historical Papers, Nr. 4 (2008), 16 pp.

In the form of an extended review of Peter Burke’s book Eyewitnessing, Jessica Horsley examines the use of pictures as historical sources. By means of a comparative juxtaposition of the original book with its German translation, the author gives new insight into the cultural historical debate to which every book translation unavoidably contributes.

> Available free online

Edited papers

Cardiff Historical Papers 2007, nos 1 –9; 2008, nos 1–3