Monday, August 30, 2010

Mystery paper doll

Pat Whalen of the NYC paper doll group sent this cutie for our round robin of design. Anyone know what set or book it's from? These are my primitive collage outfits, using old wallpaper and contemporary scrap paper. No way I could draw that arm, so I copied and pasted her arm when necessary! 

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Vintage Queen for A Day

Thanks to Susan at A Sip of Sarsaparilla for bestowing upon me the title of Vintage Queen for A Day! Who will be next? Check out her blog to find out more. (And be sure to browse her blog for some wonderful vintage paper, including the hard-to-find paper dolls known as Movy-Dolls.)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Steam, 1978 by Norman B. Colp

This is not the kind of postcard I usually post for Postcard Friendship Friday, but the truth is this is the kind of postcard I started collecting first: contemporary cards of New York City or artist reproductions, bought at bookstores and museums. Even today, in any museum gift shop, I'm drawn to the postcards, to take home my own little Picasso or Matisse. Or Henry Darger.

"Steam: My view from P.S. 1, a flip book," by Norman B. Colp, is the kind of offbeat thing I like a lot: a postcard rendered from a flip book.

P.S. 1 in Long Island City (in Queens) is a beautiful old school (at least 100 years old) that became studio and exhibition space for artists in 1976. It was exciting to visit P.S. 1 in those early days, and see a great old building and how artists had transformed it. Today, P.S. 1 is an affiliate of the Museum of Modern Art.

These smokestacks were part of the landscape I took for granted when I lived in Greenpoint (Brooklyn) just across the Pulaski Bridge from Long Island City in 1980, when it was affordable, home to mostly working-class Polish families. One of the joys of the neighborhood was being able to walk over the bridge (with a fantastic view of the Manhattan skyline across the East River) to see what was going on at P.S. 1.

I just learned that Norman B. Colp is the artist who created one of my favorite subway pieces: The Commuter's Lament/A Close Shave. See this blog for how the installation on ceiling beams looks as you walk down the ramp at the 42nd St./Port Authority subway station.The artist had tapped into the brain of weary morning commuters. There's a missing panel, the last one showing a photograph of a bed (with rumpled sheets, I think). The photo panel was supposed to be restored after some subway work was done, but I haven't seen it, and I still go down that ramp at least once a month.

Colp, who died in 2007, also organized shows at the Center for Book Arts. A New York Times article said he exhibited widely and taught at the School of Visual Arts in the 1980s. Colp was known for his handmade artist's books, accordion books and flip books: "To view them, he created mutoscopes, viewing machines that were a throwback to the nickleodeons of a century ago." My kind of artist!

Thanks to Beth for hosting this forum via her excellent blog, The Best Hearts Are Crunchy where you'll find many more postcards, vintage and modern.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Magic City, 1937

Another "Uncle Dudley" item, from the same 9-26-37 issue of the San Francisco Chronicle that featured Betty in Paper Playmates.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Paper Playmates: Betty

Sept. 26, 1937. For more in this series, check here, here and here.

The series was part of the feature known as "For Junior Readers" by Dudley T. Fisher Jr. On the same page:

Friday, August 20, 2010

Josephine Baker postcards

These postcards are part of the massive postcard collection of Kenneth Oden, which will be auctioned next week.

Read more about the auction here (it's the last item in the column, after the equally fascinating entries on Jimi Hendrix and Victorian merchant banners) and browse the catalog here.

Postcard Friendship Friday: Enos B. Comstock

Sorry for the rerun: I blogged about this 1907 postcard exactly one year ago, before I knew about Postcard Friendship Friday. Read my original post here.

I'm reposting because this is one of the gems of my postcard collection, an original piece of art in watercolor. I'd love to know if anyone out there has more information about Enos B. Comstock, a famous illustrator. This was addressed to his wife, and I could only speculate that the sender and artist Marie was perhaps their daughter. I did another search tonight and found a recipe for Comstock blueberry pie...hmmmm.

And check out more vintage postcards at The Best Hearts Are Crunchy.
Thanks to Beth for hosting this weekly online gathering.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Update: The 2011 Paper Doll Convention

This time next year the paper doll convention in Philadelphia will be in full swing. David Wolfe is posting updates on his web site--he's just added a tour of the QVC studios. Click here to read more about what he's planning for artists and collectors.

The early registration fee of $275 is in play until Dec. 1--and only early birds get David's limited edition paper doll with their convention packet. A great incentive!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Longacre Theatre program, 1927

A selection of pages from the 1927 program for a show called "The Command to Love."

Longacre Theatre retained the old name of the area, which was rechristened Times Square in 1904 when the New York Times opened its first building there. Click on the first picture, showing the front and back of the program, to see a charming sketch of Longacre Square in 1835. Bucolic and sweet, eons away from the traffic, neon and noise that became its hallmark.

For a history of the Longacre Theatre, click here.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Very Private Secretary, 1933

A contemporary card series based on vintage book covers. Author of this novel is one Mrs. Baillie Reynolds. 

Love the tag line:  "Her curiosity aroused!" 

John Axe's presentation on the illustrator Pelagie Doane at convention a few years back gave me a new appreciation for this genre.  I think John would have liked this cover.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Thinking of Mom

It's hard to believe that my mom is now in a nursing home. Little did I know when she moved in with me in March that her Alzheimer's would progress so quickly. This last month was a turning point, when we knew she needed 24-7 care that we could not provide at home. She is in the same place where my father spent his last year. A warm place with a great staff of nurses and aides who greeted us like old friends. Still, not an easy decision.

Thank you all for your kind thoughts and well wishes.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Dolls of Many Lands: Germany

These pretty Tichnor postcards, c. 1950s, always make me smile.
And I do need a smile today.

For more smiles, be sure to visit Beth at The Best Hearts Are Crunchy.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Comic strip paper doll, 1946

Wish I had more information. Anyone recognize the artist or newspaper comic strip this is from?
UPDATE: Thanks to Cindy Wuthrich for identifying this as a Boots Cut-Out from June 2, 1946, depicting the character known as Babe.

Monday, August 9, 2010

La Cenicienta, c. 1950s

Cinderella. Another paper doll booklet, c. 1950s, from Recortables BB Ediciones TBO. Lit. A. Tozzi-Barcelona. Artist: Bene Jam.This one includes the fairytale prince and his "trajes de gala," or fancy clothes.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Amalia, c. 1918

Beth at The Best Hearts Are Crunchy hosts this weekly gathering of postcard collectors. If you'd like to join, simply go to her blog and enter  by clicking on the linky gadget and following the instructions. Then simply click on the other links to see many other vintage and unusual postcards.

Amalia Rovai (?), c. 1920s. My translation: "To my dear family, sent with affection."

Here is a photo postcard, not of a celebrity (I don't think), but someone who had a picture printed as a postcard, as discussed previously on another member's Postcard Friendship Friday  post. I think the hat, lapels and big flowers indicate the WWI era, but I'm not sure. Her soulful gaze reminds me of those intense close-ups in silent movies.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Blanca Nieves, c. 1940s

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, of course. I love the full description on the cover: "Includes two dolls, outfits for home, traveling, the country, a party, summer, winter, rain, etc. And the seven dwarfs with outfits for home and work."

This could have been published as late as the 1950s. The colors are so vivid, and the foxing on the pages just adds to its charm. Recortables BB Ediciones TBO. Lit. A. Tozzi-Barcelona. Artist: Bene Jam.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Four Famous Dandies by Jim Howard

Beau Brummell, Oscar Wilde, the Duke of Windsor and Patrick McDonald are the four famous dandies featured in Jim Howard's new paper doll book published by Paper Studio Press.

The book had a wonderful write-up in Sunday's New York Times Styles section. Way to go Jim and Jenny!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Yuhsien Paper-Cuts

Another find at Geno Sartori's Green Flea table. Not sure of the date, but I don't believe these are very old; the colors are so vibrant. The envelope on the back says General Distributor: Guozi Shudian, China Publications Centre, P.O. Box 399 Peking, China. Because of the use of the old Peking (instead of Beijing), I would trace these to the 1970s or mid 1980s.