LONDON, August 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
Cassone: The International Online Magazine of Art and Art Books is a lively, constantly updated source of articles and reviews on all aspects of visual art. This is a magazine for art lovers, written in English not 'artspeak'.
Sue Ward, editor of Cassone: The International Online Magazine of Art and Art Books, talks to art writer Alette Rye Scales.
ARS: Why the name, 'Cassone'?
SW: Well, all the good names with 'art' in the title were already taken so we brainstormed and came up with Cassone (ca-soh-neh) - it's Italian and means a chest or box, but specifically it was what wealthy Renaissance brides used to carry their trousseau to their marital home - so it's a box full of beautiful things.
ARS: What do you think is special about Cassone? There is a lot of information out on the Web and many art magazines have online versions now.
SW: It is the wide-ranging editorial mix of Cassone that makes it special, together with our commitment to accessible, jargon-free writing. So many people complain about 'artspeak' - Cassone is written in English! Also, at only £10 a year (£5 for full-time or part-time students) the price should not deter anyone who is interested. Our Art News pages are free without subscription, and we offer a free week's subscription to anyone interested - once people try, they usually buy!
ARS: Why did you decide to launch Cassone?
SW: I had worked for years editing The Art Book, the print magazine I founded 17 years ago, and for much of that time Frances Follin had worked with me on the pre-press side. When that closed a lot of people said we should start something online, and during a slightly boozy lunch, Frances and I decided we would do just that!
We sought advice and received encouragement from many people in art publishing and the art world; Roger Thorp at Tate Publishing and Thomas Neurath of Thames & Hudson were particularly helpful and encouraging. Cassone has only a very small team - we have had to learn a lot very fast.
ARS: How has the magazine developed?
SW: We have a great range of contributors, not just in the UK but also abroad and have attracted more as we have gone along. It is important to us to cover events far and wide, so we often review exhibitions in New York, for instance, but there are reviews of exhibitions across Europe and other parts of the UK and USA. We have also had contributions from Australia and New Zealand, and recently from India. We carry book reviews, interviews with artists, and articles about places likely to interest art lovers.
Unlike a print magazine, where you would have to store a lot of paper if you want to retain past issues, a Web magazine carries its archive with it. If you subscribe you have access to hundreds of articles and reviews going back to our launch in 2011. We often put links in text so that it is easy to find related material published in an earlier issue.
ARS: What is your readership?
SW: Cassone is aimed at the mainstream art lover. The sort of person who goes to exhibitions regularly, is a member of the Tate, the Art Fund and/or a museum's 'friends' organization, etc. Many of our readers are students - both young full-time students and older part-time ones. All our reviews and articles are written for a general audience. Many are written by established academics but they are not written for academics. Our 'traffic light' system indicates to the reader whether a book we have reviewed is for the general reader, or is more suitable for undergraduates or academics. But any review of an 'academic' book in Cassone is there to inform and interest the general reader; we are not publishing 'academic' reviews.
ARS: What sort of art do you cover?
SW: Cassone covers a broad spectrum of visual culture: painting and sculpture of every period, photography, interior design and garden design, architecture, film and video art, and installation art. Whether your interest lies in the Renaissance or more recent centuries, in Michelangelo or Damien Hirst, in Gothic architecture or 21st-century buildings, Impressionism or postmodernism, Turner or the Turner Prize, there is much to engage you in Cassone.
ARS: I see you have an international selection of art historians on your editorial and advisory boards.
SW: Yes, these are all people I have known professionally and worked with for a long time. A number, including Frances and myself, are members of the Association of Art Historians (AAH). Part of the AAH's mission is 'to promote the public understanding of art history' and that is part of Cassone's mission too, though of course we have a wide-ranging interest in the contemporary as well as the historic.
Note for editors
Cassone: The International Online Magazine of Art and Art Books was launched in May 2011, published by Cassone Art Limited (Directors Ms Sue Ward MA and Dr Frances Follin). Its mission is to interest, entertain and inform art lovers. It is updated every month: in alternate months the entire content is replaced; in interim months a small selection of new articles/reviews are added. The Art News pages are free to access and updated several times a week. All past content is maintained in an archive accessible to subscribers. Subscribers receive a monthly email advising them of the new content for that month, with links to the magazine. Cassone's contributors are art historians, art critics and art writers who want to share their love of and enthusiasm for art in all its many forms.
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SOURCE Cassone Art Limited