Full Title: Magazines of a Market-metropolis: Being a History of the Literary Periodicals and Literary Interests of Chicago by Herbert Easton Fleming
Location: Google Books Date: 1906
With a suggestion in its name of the bright give-and-take of afternoon teas, Four O’Clock was conspicuous among the original magazines expressing the attitude of certain literary workers, pen-and-ink artists, and dabblers in art at Chicago in the late nineties. Its descriptive subtitle proclaimed it to be “a monthly magazine of original writings,” and its motto was “Sincerity, beauty, ease, cleverness.” Most of its contents were from Chicago writers. Not all were so original and clever, nor so marked by ease and beauty of style, as to be of special literary value, though some had a degree of merit. The “sincerity” was its expression of that vague spiritual quality known as the artist soul. In illustrations, however, the periodical was original and specially attractive. The reproductions of drawings, done so as to give them the effect of originals, appeared on leaves of special texture, pasted into the magazine. This device gave the periodical distinctive aesthetic values. Young artists, a majority of them students at the Art Institute, did most of this illustrating. Among the illustrators was Carl Werntz, who is now the head of the Art Academy, an independent art school in Chicago. Four O’Clock was started some time after the Chap-Book had reached the height of its career in Chicago. No. I was dated February, 1897. With the seventy-first number, December 1902, Four O’Clock was merged in Muse, another of the art-spirit literary periodicals, which had grown out of still another called Philharmonic. Literary workers who recall these magazines characterize them as dilettante ephemerals.
Note: This is one of my favorite resources on early Chicago magazines. But, be advised. This was Mr. Fleming’s dissertation. There is not one illustration in the entire paper.