Behind the Arras by Bliss Carmen
Date: 1895
Medium: Commercial lithograph
Dimensions: sheet: 18 5/8 × 9 1/2 in. (47.3 × 24.1 cm)
Illustration Citation: Advertising poster for Behind the Arras: A Book of the Unseen by Bliss Carman (Boston: Lamson, Wolffe, & Co., 1895)
Credit Line: Gift of Helen Farr Sloan, 1977
Object Number: 1977-243
About: A native of Massachusetts, Ethel Reed briefly attended Cowles School of Art in Boston, and by the age of 19 had a studio on Boylston Street, participating in many group shows in the Boston area. In the mid-1890s, she joined two Boston-area publishers — Copeland and Day and Lamson, Wolffe and Co. — as a book illustrator and cover design artist. She also created advertising posters for the publishers' products, often inspired by the Art Nouveau style, as well as by the expanses of flat color characteristic of Japanese art. Reed gained international recognition for her work and by 1896 was living in London, invited to replace Aubrey Beardsley on the avant-garde journal The Yellow Book. Mysteriously, Reed and her work disappeared from public view in 1898. It is now believed that she suffered from illnesses and fell into poverty.
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