Saturday, October 30, 2010

1923 Picking Cotton

Working picking cotton was back-breaking labor, inspiring the old saying “sure beats picking cotton.” Fingers would be pricked on sharp prongs which held the soft white cotton firmly inside the boll. It might take a family one whole day to pick the cotton from a long, seemingly endless, row of plants.

On the most part, the images I’ve recovered from books from long ago, portray the cotton pickers as a happy lot. This print is quite different. The two young boys in the foreground appear haunted by misery; their elders in the background, heads bent, lost in their work, as the sky above appears cloudy and announces an impending storm.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Man as Woman

This print is of the Japanese actor Segawa Tumisaburo, in female character, by the artist Toshusai Sharaku. Sharaku’s prints have qualities that distinguish them from others of the same genre as they are more intense with differing harmonies of color and portray heightened facial expressions. They were all produced in one year, 1794, and there is no evidence that the artist, a dancer by profession, had even designed a color-print before.

1954, Chiswick Press of London

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Fussy Eater

Mothers know all too well the charms of a fussy eater. This delightful illustration by Mabel Lucie Attwell has an accompanying verse which is a beautiful and most suitable response to Baby Robert Rabbit`s highchair antics.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Earle Liderman King of the Musclemen

Born in 1886 and originally hired by the New York Board of Education as a physical culture specialist, Earle Liederman went on to a successful strongman career in vaudeville. He used his business acumen to publish a series of exercises and by the 1920’s was the King of the muscleman mail order business. Liederman advocated daily exercise as a way to not only develop strong muscles but to attain perfect health. He advised, “A good strong constitution is within the reach of almost every one. If you want it, you can attain it; it is simply up to yourself.”

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Tiffany and Co. 1929

It’s June 1929 and the living is easy. Shoppers buy beautiful jewelry at Tiffany’s and the elegant Cadillac La Salle built by Cadillac is a trend-setting automobile. All this would change by October 29, 1929 when the stock market crash had devastating effects upon rich and poor in almost every country around the world.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Wasaga Beach

It's a cold Sunday morning and after making sure I remembered to turn the furnace back on (no wonder it was so cold last night!) I sought some feel good summer inspiration from this old postcard of Wasaga Beach. It's from the early 1960's when North America was at the height of its love affair with the car. There appears to be more cars than people on the beach (a long ago custom that has since been banned). Not entirely environmentally friendly, was it?

Friday, October 1, 2010

The Ballet Dancers

This 1950's offset lithograph of classical ballet dancers was printed on a textured cardboard surface to make it appear, to the amateur eye, to be an oil painting. This 11 x 14 inch print is in excellent condition. Ready to frame and signed by the artist 'Gina'.