Direct PDF link for archiving.
PDF icon

welcome phantom As this issue is launched, we receive the sad news of the death of Dr. Hans A. Lüthy, former Director of the Swiss Institute for Art Research in Zürich. Dr. Lüthy, who died on March 8, just short of his 77th birthday, played a crucial role in the foundation of Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide, both through his enthusiastic encouragement and through his generous financial support. A leading figure in the field of art historical research and its dissemination, he will be sorely missed by all who had the privilege of knowing him.

During each of the seven years of NCAW’s existence we have received at least one call asking for advice on how to start an electronic journal. We have not followed the developments of all inquiries, but we are delighted to note that at least one of the groups that consulted us, the Historians of Netherlandish Art, will launch their e-journal this year:


From all the conversations we have had, it appears that funding is the biggest obstacle to starting an e-journal. Though e-journals cost less to produce and distribute than their paper equivalents there are expenses nevertheless, particularly for copy-editing and web-design. And it is difficult for any e-journal to produce revenue. Even if it does not offer open access, the income an e-journal can earn from subscriptions is minimal because there is no incentive for individuals to subscribe as long as a library with which they are associated has a subscription; they can access the journal from home in the same way as they could if they were subscribers themselves.

Advertising, too, is difficult to garner for e-journals. E-advertisers look for sites that get many visitors, and while our numbers seem impressive—close to half a million hits per month—they are puny compared with sites that have constantly changing content. With that in mind, we are especially grateful to our advertisers—Rehs Galleries and Schiller and Bodo European Paintings, for their confidence in our e-site and for their understanding that, even if our numbers are “small,” ours is a target audience. Of course, we are grateful as well to our many sponsors, such as the Fine Art Dealers of America, Seton Hall University, the University of the South, the University of Minnesota, and the many other organizations and individuals that have helped us over the years and whose names are listed on our sponsorship site.

It appears that e-journals work best when they have a scholarly community to support them. NCAW could not survive without the support of its “mother” organization, the Association of Historians of Nineteenth-Century Art, the members of which, through their dues, pay for part of the production of the journal. They are the equivalent of the subscribers to a paper journal, but while the latter get tangible worth for their money (a paper journal that is just for them), the members of AHNCA pay for something that they agree to share with the entire world, just because they think it has value and merit. It is a new business model that is based on intellectual rather than tangible ownership, on sharing rather than keeping to oneself.