Images of Urban Mass Culture in the Interwar Periodical Press

Viktorija Bruneizerytė-Gaidamavičienė (PDF)

The article presents how the illustrated magazines of the interwar period contributed to the creation of mass culture and the division between genders and their images, especially through visual and textual changes in periodicals. During the interwar period, women became the main focus of attention not only on stage and on screen, but also in periodicals, which became the main sources of information and visuality in the cities of the interwar period. All this also applied to the extremely public personality of an actress who usually appeared as the main heroine in the periodical pages.

Cinema, fashion, and photography changed and recreated the beauty standards of the time and created a public market that seems to have laid the foundations for the contemporary public image marketing as well. The article reveals how interwar periodicals made use of the emerging mass culture and the popular textual-to-visual shift of the time. The presented arguments are based on the history of important changes of the periodical press and a case study of a popular local periodical Naujas žodis. In order to contextualise and compare with the presented local example, several popular Latvian and German periodicals of the time are also presented.

Key words: periodicals, interwar period, mass culture, photography, actress