Mixed Forms of Visual Culture: From the Cabinet of Curiosities to Digital Diversity

Mary Anne Francis

Research output: Book/ReportBook - authoredpeer-review


This book celebrates and seeks to understand the overlooked appearances of hybrid forms in visual culture; artefacts and practices that meld or interweave incongruous elements in innovative ways. And with an emphasis on the material aspects of such entities, the book adopts the term 'mixed form' for them.

Focusing on key phenomena in the last half millennium such as the cabinet of curiosities, the broadside ballad and the chapbook as early forms of image-text, the scrapbook, assemblage, and, in digital times, so-called 'mixed reality,' the book argues that while the quality of inconsistency is traditionally dismissed, its expression nevertheless plays a vital role in social life.

Crucially, Mixed Forms of Visual Culture relates its phenomena to the emergence of the division of labour under capitalism and addresses the shifting relationships between art and life, when singularity and uniformity are variously valued and dismissed in the two arenas, and at different points in history.

Two of the book's chapters take the form of visual essays, with one comprising an anthology of found scrapbook pages and the other offering an analysis of artists' scrapbooks. The book is richly illustrated throughout.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherBloomsbury Academic
Number of pages208
ISBN (Electronic)9781350211384
ISBN (Print)9781350211377
Publication statusPublished - 2 Dec 2021


  • Mixed Form
  • Visual Culture
  • Division of Labour


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