TidBits 100: Paper as a means to communicate, 100... cum laude!

Everything stemmed from pieces of paper and the desire to communicate. Let's see who has reached the 100-goal. Cover pages, magazines, games and... TidBits!

Vanity fair has just celebrated its 100th year. It was 1913 when Condé Montrose Nast purchased the magazine, then called Dress and Vanity Fair, entrusting its artistic direction to the person he retained to be “the most well-read, elegant and captivating man in publishing and in Manhattan”: Frank Crowninshiel. Crowninshiel made Vanity Fair a cultural magazine tied to the theater, to literature and art dedicated entirely to women, to their intellect . A veritable revolution for the beginning of the 20th century! In those years, the articles were signed by great authors the likes of Aldous Huxley, T. S. Eliot, Ferenc Molnár, Gertrude Stein, Francis Scott Fitzgerald and poetess Dorothy Parker, responsible for the entertainment page.

The Corriere della Sera newspaper celebrates the first 100 cover pages of its Sunday supplement “La Lettura” with an exhibition entitled “Cento copertine d'autore” (“One-hundred signature covers”) being published until November 24th at the Triennale di Milano. Famous artists and photographers have signed the images that we find on the supplement's main page. From the very first by Ai Weiwei to the one-hundredth by Yoko Ono, in-between are those by William Kentridge, Christian Boltanski, Arnaldo Pomodoro, Anish Kapoor, Georg Baselitz, Miquel Barceló, Mimmo Paladino, David Salle, Luigi Serafini, Kiki Smith, Mimmo Jodice, Christo, Emilio Isgrò, Jean-Jacques Sempé and many others. Each with its own artistic style and personality.

And the 100 goal has also been attained by one of the world's favorite pastimes: the “crossword” puzzle, a game on paper invented by Arthur Wynne and published on December 21st 1913 in the Sunday supplement of New York World, called Fun.

“This will be an off-key, irritating, unpleasant and personal sheet”. This is how Giovanni Papini and Ardengo Soffici defined the Florentine magazine “Lacerba” they founded. It was January 1st,1913. Born as a futurist periodical, it published pieces by Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, Luciano Folgore, Umberto Boccioni, Carlo Carrà and Corrado Govoni. Later, it broke away from Marinetti's futurism and contested the movement's research both in literature and in art. The magazine's last issues feature articles by Campana, Ungaretti, Jahier and the manifesto of “Adampetonismo” signed by Soffici under the pseudonym of Elettrone Rotativi, a parody of the cliches of the avant-gardes and in particular of futurism. Several exhibitions have been organized for the anniversary of its birth, among them “Lacerba 1913. Nuova rivista per i tempi moderni’’ (“Lacerba 2013. New magazine for modern times”) featuring around 50 original documents between magazines, books, posters, photographs, works by Ardengo Soffici, Max Jacob and Pablo Picasso and a selection of magazine issues.

We, too, have reached our 100th TidBit. With plenty of enthusiasm, we have tried to transmit everything that has aroused our curiosity and impassioned the world of paper and not only. And that's what we'll continue to do...

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