The Burlington Magazine is a monthly publication covering the fine and decorative arts of all periods. Established in 1903, it is the longest running art journal in the English language, and was instrumental in the establishment of academic art history in Britain. Since 1986 the magazine has been published by The Burlington Magazine, a non-profit-making company with independent charitable status, owned jointly by The Burlington Magazine Foundation, a UK charity, and The Burlington Magazine Foundation Inc., a not-for-profit corporation incorporated in the State of New York.
The magazine was established by a group of art historians and connoisseurs including Roger Fry, Herbert Horne, Bernard Berenson, and Charles Holmes. Its structure was loosely based on its contemporary British publication The Connoisseur, which was mainly aimed at collectors and had solid connections with the art trade. The Burlington Magazine added new elements of historical research to this late-Victorian tradition of market-based criticism, inspired by the leading academic German periodicals, creating a formula that has remained almost unchanged: a combination of archival and formalist object-based art historical research juxtaposed with articles on collectors’ items and private collections, enlivened with notes on current art news, exhibitions and sales.
The first issues of the magazine were printed on high-quality paper using a typeface designed by Herbert Horne. But its lavish production values resulted in financial problems almost from the start, so Fry embarked on an American tour in January 1905 in an attempt to attract sponsorship to ensure its survival. His efforts proved to be fruitful, and he became joint editor from 1909 until 1918, remaining on the magazine’s consultative committee until his death in 1934.