Nellie Baxter, “Almanac”

Nellie Baxter, “Almanac”

Nellie Baxter was a female artist who created the textual ornaments for The Evergreen. Her “Almanac” was the featured image of the fourth volume, Winter.

Geddes was drawn to Scottish identity politics and parallel cultural emancipation movements a part of the Celtic Revival. The Scottish Renascence and Celtic Revival became intrinsic to the manifesto of The Evergreen because of the shared value system Geddes’ saw within the movements. The woman decorated with Celtic ornamentation and the use of Celtic art for the ornamentation of “Almanac” connect the image to a deep practice of Celtic art and, in turn, to the Celtic Revival. The straight-line patterns on the robe of the woman are the earliest form of Celtic art; and the image uses interlaced patterns and key patterns as additional ornamentation. The Celtic art of Baxter’s “Almanac” connects the reader to the pastoral Celtic origins depicted in the image.

The pastoral, naturalistic elements of Baxter’s “Almanac” is also observed in her illustrative commentary on time. In particular, a naturalistic approach to time is signified in the four astrological signs that are present on the right border: Capricornus, Aries, Pisces, and Aries. The astrology invoked in this image speaks to The Evergreen’s approach to the publication structure of the magazine. The four volumes were published to align with the annual equinoxes and solstices; or to align with natural time. The allusion to natural time via the depiction of the astrological signs is an objection to the Georgian calendar structure used within the Victorian period. That is to say that The Evergreen advocated a naturalistic approach to the use of time in order to oppose how industrialization disconnected humans’ relationship with nature. The Evergreen’s invocation of natural time worked as an advocation for urban renewal within the industrialized structure of modern society. Geddes’ goal was to create an invigorated modern society that could exist by way of reintegrating nature’s role into civic affairs.

Works Cited

Claes, Konraad. “What to Naturalists is known as Symbiosis: Literature, Community, and Nature in The Evergreen,” Scottish Review, vol. 4, no. 1, 2012, pp. 111 – 129.

Carmichael, E. K. The Elements of Celtic Art. An Comumn Gaidhealach, 1922, deriv.nls.uk/dcn23/7903/79033653.23.pdf.

Kooistra, Lorraine Janzen. “General Introduction to The Evergreen: A Northern Seasonal, Evergreen Digital Edition, Yellow Nineties 2.0, Ryerson University Centre for Digital Humanities, 2019. http://1890s.ca/the_evergreen_general_introduction/

Kooistra, Lorraine Janzen. “The Politics of Ornament: Remediation and/in The Evergreen.” ESC: English Studies in Canada, vol. 41 no. 1, 2015, pp. 105 – 128. Project Muse, doi:10.1353/esc.2015.0004.