Classroom teachers would unroll their wall charts for the day’s lessons — bright and vividly colored canvasses, specifically designed so that pupils in the back rows could see. Most charts were devoid of text, a ploy of hopeful teachers to enhance class participation. Before the advent of richly illustrated school books (or slides), these charts opened a window to another world for generations of school kids.
A wonderful new book documents this lost art form: The Art of Instruction: Vintage Educational Charts from the 19th and 20th Centuries. This gorgeous over-sized book reproduces charts of many different styles, but most pages are devoted to the German firm of Jung-Koch-Quentell.
Here’s a quick visual tour of one of our favorite new books of the year!
Botanical Chart produced in France by Les Editions Rossignol
And here’s a stunning assortment of charts from Jung-Koch-Quentell:
Assorted botanical features, Garden Tulip, Tulipa gesneriana
Common Hair Moss, Polytrichum commune, Swiss Moss Fern, Selaginella helvetica
Red Starfish, Asterias rubens, Grass Snake and Horned Viper
Red Ant, Formice rufa, Housefly, Musca domestica