“Alex blabbered at some length that to become a LIFE editor one had to be a chronic alcoholic.” The quote is from Yorick Blumenfeld’s article, How to Become the Greatest Living Photographer! He tells the story of his father Erwin’s arrival in New York in 1939 and his encounter with LIFE magazine’s arts editor Alexander King, who then “took out a hypodermic filled with a milky fluid and quite unselfconsciously struck the needle into his arm whispering: Vitamin

You won’t find the article in these pages. It’s one of a growing number of articles on The Classic Platform, an online resource that we have just launched on our website. There are several reasons for its existence. When I developed the concept for The Classic, I was determined that it should be a magazine, not an academic journal, which is why the long articles are interviews or interview-based. But this meant leaving out some fascinating essays and some lengthy scientific papers that I felt would be of great interest. And on occasion, I felt that more could be written on a subject, and that an online resource would be useful. The final reason being that there are just too many interesting things to feature to fit into two issues a year.

A few of the articles on The Classic Platform have been published before, the earliest being László Moholy-Nagy’s From Pigment to Light, first published in 1936, but most were written especially for the platform. The team and I are extremely grateful to the authors who gave their time and energy and shared their passions for their respective subjects.

There’s news on another front as well, concerning publishing. An important factor behind our magazine’s success is that it’s a print magazine. When we published issue 2, we made issue 1 available as a pdf. We were going to follow the same pattern with issue 3. And then the virus struck. By the time issue 3 was printed, most of the world had shut down. As a free magazine, we rely on our distributors; museums, galleries, auction houses and fairs, all closed or cancelled, so we decided to make issue 3 available as a pdf immediately. This proved to be highly successful and because of it, we have acquired a new and much larger readership, including readers in territories where we haven’t been able to arrange distribution. Virus or not, we will continue like this, publishing the digital version at the same time as the print magazine. This has also appealed to our advertisers, as it means that The Classic has, as they say, “gone global”.

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