Edited by Alfred Stieglitz. New York, 1915-1916. 12 Numbers.

No. 1 (New York, March 1915) [PDF, 64mb]
No. 2 (New York, April 1915) [PDF, 45mb]
No. 3 (New York, May 1915) [PDF, 47mb]
No. 5-6 (New York, July-August 1915) [PDF, 65mb]
No. 7-8 (New York, September-October 1915) [PDF, 26mb]
No. 9 (New York, November 1915) [PDF, 43mb]
No. 10-11 (New York, December 1915-January 1916) [PDF, 30mb]
No. 12 (New York, February 1916) [PDF, 45mb]
Announcement for the opening of the Modern Gallery (New York, October 1915) [PDF, 18mb]

291 occupies an interesting position among the journals of modernist art. It is the first magazine to style itself as a work of art in its own right. It is also the first expression of the dada esthetic in the United States; proto-dada, actually, dada avant la lettre, before dada had started in Zürich in 1916. Only Arthur Cravan’s short-lived Maintenant can be said to precede it as an instance of pre-dada sensibility anywhere in the periodic press.

291 took its original inspiration from Apollinaire’s Soirées de Paris, emphasizing calligrammatic texts and an abstracted kind of satirical drawing, but it cast these into a much more dramatic form by moving into a gigantic folio format and simultaneously dematerializing into a single gatefold sheet of paper. Always envisioned as a limited run of twelve numbers, 291 is the critical link between Camera Work - which Stieglitz duly suspended in the interim - and Picabia’s own 391 - styled as its radical successor. Issued in a deluxe edition of 100 copies and a regular edition of 1000, 291 was a financial fiasco, failing to sell more than eight subscriptions on vellum and a hundred on ordinary paper, and in the end Stieglitz sold the entire backstock to a ragpicker for $5.80.

    n° 1 (March 1915) - n° 12 (February 1916)
    editors Paul B. Haviland, Marius de Zayas and Agnes Ernst Meyer
    '291' : 291 Fifth Avenue. New York 1915-1916.
    12 numbers, 9 issues; published in an edition of 1100 copies; special edition limited to one hundred autographed copies on special paper.
    4-6 pages; varying formats.
    Bibliographic references: Little Magazines & Modernism; extensive description and contents in Wikipedia.
    Braque, Max Jacob, Edward Steichen, John Marin, Alberto Savinio, J.B. Kerfoot, Katharine Rhoades, Alfred Stieglitz, Guillaume Apollinaire, Agnes E. Meyer, Francis Picabia, and Marius de Zayas.
  • printed
    • Reprinted in 291, N° 1-12 / edited by Dorothy Norman (Arno Press : New York 1972).
  • Dawn Ades
    '291, The Ridgefield Gazook, The Blind Man, Rongwrong, TNT, New York Dada', in Dawn Ades, Dada and Surrealism Reviewed / with an introduction by David Sylvester and a supplement essay by Elizabeth Cowling (Arts Council of Britain : London 1978) 32-43.
  • Willard Bohn
    'Visualizing women in 291', in Women in Dada. Essays on sex, gender, and identity / edited by Naomi Sawelson-Gorse (MIT Press : Cambridge MA 1998) 240-261.
  • Jeanne Brun
    '291', in Dada (Editions du Centre Pompidou : Paris 2005) 62-63.
  • William A. Camfield
    'Du "291" à 391. Alfred Stiegtliz, Marius de Zayas et Francis Picabia, un dialogue à trois, 1913-1917', in New York et l’art moderne. Alfred Stieglitz et son cercle (1905-1930) (Réunion des musées nationaux etc. : Paris etc. 2004) 117-140. Catalogue of an exhibition at the Musée d’Orsay (18 October 2004-16 January 2005) and at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid (10 February-16 May 2005).
  • Jerry Cargill
    Stieglitz's 291: An American Avant-Garde Magazine (Columbia College Chicago 1994, 2008) [online]; available at <http://www.cargillcontemporary.com/papers/291/> [accessed 2 August 2011].
  • Béatrice Mousli
    '291-391', in Béatrice Mousli, Max Jacob (Flammarion : Paris 2005) 149-152.
  • Dorothy Norman
    'Introducing 291', in 291, N° 1-12 / edited by Dorothy Norman (Arno Press : New York 1972).
  • William Rozaitis
    'The Joke at the Heart of Things: Francis Picabia's Machine Drawings and the Little Magazine 291', in American Art 8, No. 3/4 (Summer - Autumn 1994) 43-59 [JSTOR Stable URL www.jstor.org/stable/3109171].