"And so with diligent hands and good intent we set down our Dial on the earth. We wish it may resemble that instrument in its celebrated happiness, that of measuring no hours but those of sunshine. Let it be one cheerful rational voice amidst the din of mourners and polemics. Or to abide by our chosen image, let it be such a Dial, not as the dead face of a clock, hardly even such as the Gnomon in a garden, but rather such a Dial as is the Garden itself, in whose leaves and flowers the suddenly awakened sleeper is instantly apprised not what part of dead time, but what state of life and growth is now arrived and arriving."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson -
The Dial was a literary magazine founded in 1840. From 1840 to 1844 it was a transcendentalist journal. Margaret Fuller served as its editor and its most notable contributor was Ralph Waldo Emerson. In 1880 Francis Fisher Brown revived the magazine in The Fine Arts Building, with a focus on politics and literary criticism. The Dial's final and best known incarnation (1920-1929) was as a modernist literary magazine which published many influential writers, including T.S. Eliot, William Butler Yeats, William Carlos Williams and E.E. Cummings.
In 1908 Francis Fisher Brown opened Browne's Bookstore on the seventh floor of the Fine Arts Building. The space was designed and outfitted by his friend Frank Lloyd Wright, who kept office in the building.
Margaret Anderson, who worked for The Dial during the Francis Fisher Browne period, founded her modernist literary magazine, The Little Review, in the Fine Arts Building in 1914. Her magazine is perhaps best known for serializing James Joyce's Ulysses.
We hope our shop can pay tribute to the rich literary history of The Fine Arts Building.