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Labels of Empire

Textile Trademarks: Windows into India in the Time of the Raj

At one time Great Britain clothed the world. In the 1880s, when the British textile industry was at its height, 85 percent of the world’s population wore clothing made from fabric produced in the mills of Lancashire. From 1910 to 1913 alone, seven billion yards of cloth were folded, stamped, labeled, and baled. Most of this output was for export, and 30 percent of it went to India.

British textile manufacturers selling into the competitive Indian market were dealing with a largely illiterate population. In order to differentiate their goods, they stamped their cloth with distinctive images—a crouching tiger or perhaps an elephant standing on top of a globe. When chromolithography came into widespread use in the late 1800s, illustrated paper labels (known in the trade as “shipper’s tickets”) made to appeal to the local people were added. Designed, printed, and registered in Manchester, these brightly colored images were pasted onto the pieces of cloth being sold, further helping to establish a company’s brand. Hindu gods, native animals, scenes from the great Indian epics—the Mahabharata and Ramayana—and views of everyday life were common subjects. In a sense a form of premium, they provided the consumer with an additional incentive to buy the goods of a particular firm.

Labels of Empire begins with the late 19th-century heyday of British textile manufacturing and closes with Indian independence in 1947. By combining visual narrative, popular culture, and magical realism in a way never done before, this book offers an unprecedented look at the British textile industry in the time of the Raj—and its remarkably successful use of paper labels as trademarks.

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9781954081253_FC

Edgar Jerins

Life in Charcoal

Forged in the crucible of family tragedy, Edgar Jerins’ monumental charcoal drawings are a towering achievement of contemporary American art. Arthur Miller commanded “Attention must be paid” and in these meticulously observed images, the artist does exactly that.

His middle American subjects have been buffeted by a sea of troubles, sometimes of their own causing. Jerins brilliantly and movingly captures friends and family members at a moment when all denial has been stripped away. There is no irony here, no flippant art world in-jokes, no smug condescension and certainly no sentimentality. Jerins shows us the redemptive power of suffering, the quiet heroism of the American spirit, and our refusal to give up no matter the odds against us.

The difficulties his subjects have with relationships, money, health, aging, substance abuse, violence, and death are part of the human condition that we Americans all know too well.

With unflinching honesty and the kind of empathy only known by fellow travelers, Edgar Jerins brings a new realism to American art. His art is not just about life, it is life.


9781957183374_FC

Faces of Ukraine

Photographs by Paul Chesley

The war in Ukraine has brought about a newfound curiosity and interest in a country that is often misunderstood. Beloved Ukraine offers a glimpse into this country before the recent conflict, as captured through the lens of National Geographic Society photographer, Paul Chesley, over the course of several years. Beloved Ukraine is a tribute to this enigmatic country and its people.

9781957183602_FC

Seeing it All

Women Photographers Expose our Planet

Eleven visionary photographers—who happen to be women—focus upon moments of profound beauty and peril on our planet. As award recipients and jurors of the prestigious BigPicture international competition, these women are featured with more than 125 dramatic images that illustrate the extraordinary complexity of the natural world and challenge our very relations and perceptions of it. 

'Seeing It All' goes beyond the glamorizing images of nature and wildlife that are typically shown. Here, images connect the seen to the hidden, abundance with disappearance, icebergs to indigenous portraits, animal sanctuaries and climate scientists, and heart to head.

These intrepid individuals use photography to expose how we—humans, animals, nature—are living together in these precipitous times. Each photographer provides a concise manifesto arising from their commitment to life on the planet, which is accompanied by a short profile and behind-the scenes insights into their activities.

Join Ami Vitale, Cristina Mittermeier, Suzi Eszterhas and others as they venture from Africa to the Arctic, through deep oceans to distant islands. Be witness to the last animal of its species. Delight in the birth of the next generation.

The significance and urgency of 'Seeing It All' is expressed in the introduction by Rhonda Rubinstein, plus essays by renowned writer, historian, and activist Rebecca Solnit, and neuroscientist, writer and stage director Indre Viskontas.

WomenPhotog_Rubinstein_covers-2

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