High Society

The title says it all. 1960’s posters for The Grateful Dead, Sons of Champlain, Initial Shock, Jefferson Airplane, Jimi Hendrix, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Muddy Waters, Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band, Big Brother and the Holding Company, The Doors, The Association, 13th Floor Elevator, and Bob Dylan.IMG_0001 IMG_0002IMG_0003 IMG_0004 IMG_0005 IMG_0006 IMG_0007 IMG_0008 IMG_0009 IMG_0010 IMG_0011 IMG_0012 IMG_0013 IMG_0014 IMG_0015 IMG_0016 IMG_0017 IMG_0018 IMG

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The Waite-Smith Tarot Card Deck

This set of cards was designed in 1909 by the great authority on the Tarot and revered mystic Arthur Edward Waite with the help of artist Pamela Coleman Smith. The two met at a meeting of The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, a magical order from the late 19th century devoted to the study and practice of the occult, metaphysics and paranormal activities, a group that has influenced modern witchcraft and Wicca.

For Waite, Tarot cards belonged in a different realm than fortune-telling cards or gypsy cards. With the Tarot cards you gained insight to your question through divination and help from a supernatural agency. Your social character in a religious context came into play. You could find help in perplexing situations by shuffling the deck and reading the cards, and it was no more random than opening a bible, putting a finger on a passage, and gaining insight to what is troubling you.

Waite drew his inspiration from the Marseille Tarot Deck seen here, which was introduced to France, from Italy, in the late 15th century. He gave Pamela Coleman Smith instructions based on the design of this set, but not being an artist himself, he let Smith have artistic license, especially on the minor cards.

Marseille_Tarot_Cards

And look how beautiful they are!

Rider Waite-Smith Tarot Cards Rider Waite-Smith Tarot Cards Rider Waite-Smith Tarot Cards Rider Waite-Smith Tarot Cards Rider Waite-Smith Tarot CardsRider Waite-Smith Tarot Cards

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German Art Nouveau… Jugendstil from ‘Der Moderne Stil’

Imagine my delight when a friend asked me if I wanted a box of old German books and in it was  ‘Der Moderne Stil’ published by Von Julius Hoffman Jr. in Stuttgart, Germany. The book was full of  pictures of modern style furniture, pottery, bookplates, jewelry, metalwork, wallpaper and illustrations by artists from all over Europe. The modern style for Julius Hoffman Jr. was art nouveau or Jugenstil in German and here are my favorite selections:

art nouveau illustrations jugendstil julius hoffman art nouveau illustrations der moderne stil

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Celebrating Diversity with Representative Types

There is beauty in diversity, beauty in patterns and beauty in old dictionary illustrations!Cattle dogs flowers fowl horses

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The Pictorial Cyclopedia of Nature illustrated by Albert H. Winkler

I can’t seem to find out anything about the artist who made these illustrations. They are signed A.H. Winkler for Albert H. Winkler and were found in the back of a dictionary dating from 1971. They seem to be older than that though, just from their style. I especially like the title page, which is the last one on this post. Imagine flipping through a big dictionary, with only black and white pages, and coming to these at the end.  I was transported to the natural world! If you know anything about this artist, I’d love to hear from you.

Wild Animals illustration by R. H. Winkler

Wild Animals illustration by R. H. Winkler

American Conifers illustration by R.H. Winkler

American Conifers illustration by R.H. Winkler

Garden Flowers illustration by R.H. Winkler

Garden Flowers illustration by R.H. Winkler

Mushrooms illustration by R.H. Winkler

Mushrooms illustration by R.H. Winkler

Flowering Trees and Shrubs illustration by R.H. Winkler

Flowering Trees and Shrubs illustration by R.H. Winkler

American Wildflowers illustration by R.H. Winkler

American Wildflowers illustration by R.H. Winkler

American Desert Plants illustration by R.H. Winkler

American Desert Plants illustration by R.H. Winkler

North American Reptiles illustration by R.H. Winkler

North American Reptiles illustration by R.H. Winkler

Song and Perching Birds illustration by R.H. Winkler

Song and Perching Birds illustration by R.H. Winkler

American Fur-Bearing Animals illustration by R.H. Winkler

American Fur-Bearing Animals illustration by R.H. Winkler

North American Insects illustration by R.H. Winkler

North American Insects illustration by R.H. Winkler

American Game Fish illustration by R.H. Winkler

American Game Fish illustration by R.H. Winkler

American Game Birds illustration by R.H. Winkler

American Game Birds illustration by R.H. Winkler

Carrion Birds and Birds of Prey illustration by R.H. Winkler

Carrion Birds and Birds of Prey illustration by R.H. Winkler

Butterflies and Moths illustration by R.H. Winkler

Butterflies and Moths illustration by R.H. Winkler

cover

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Vintage French Christmas Cards

Here are the most charming vintage Christmas cards I have ever seen. I bought them in Paris over thirty years ago when as I young student I would go to the flea markets every weekend, looking for old postcards and perfume bottles. I scanned these and sized them to 5 by 7 inches so you can print them out and make your own Christmas cards. Just click on the image you like and it will take you to Etsy shop where I offer the digital images for a small price.

vintage french Christmas card vintage french christmas card vintage french christmas 5 copy vintage french christmas card vintage french christmas card

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Souvenir Views of Jerusalem 1908

These color lithograph views of Jerusalem came out of a souvenir book that was dated 1908.  Check them out! You won’t be disappointed.

bethany

Bethany

bethleham

Bethleham

church_of_the_holy_sepulchre

Church of the Holy Sepulchre

Church of the Nativity

Church of the Nativity

Convent of Saint George

Convent of Saint George

Damascus Gate

Damascus Gate

Ecce Homo Arch

Ecce Homo Arch

First View of Jerusalem

First View of Jerusalem

Garden of Gethsemane

Garden of Gethsemane

General View of the Temple Area,Jerusalem

General View of the Temple Area,Jerusalem

Golden Gate, Jerusalem

Golden Gate, Jerusalem

Grotto of the Nativity

Grotto of the Nativity

Holy Sepulchre

Holy Sepulchre

Jaffa

Jaffa

Jericho

Jericho

Jerusalem from the North

Jerusalem from the North

Jerusalem

Jerusalem

Jew's Wailing Place

Jew’s Wailing Place

Mount Olive

Mount of Olives

Nazareth

Nazareth

New Entrance

New Entrance

Rachel's Tomb

Rachel’s Tomb

The Axa Mosque

The Axa Mosque

The Dead Sea

The Dead Sea

The Jordon

The Jordon

The Rock

The Rock

Tiberias

Tiberias

Tomb of the Kings

Tomb of the Kings

Tower of David

Tower of David

Valley of Jehosophat

Valley of Jehosophat

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Else Bostelmann Vegetable Illustrations

In a 1949 National Geographic I found these illustrations of vegetables by Else Bostelmann. The subject matter, vegetables, appealed to me, as does anything related to horticulture and botany, and the artistry is top-notch, nice compositions, contrast, and colors. But I knew there had to be something else that made these illustrations stand out, and as I leafed through them, it dawned on me. Each plant is painted in it’s native habitat. Now that’s harmony! And in harmony there is beauty…

Globe Artichoke

asparagus and endive beets and swiss chard broccoli and cauliflower cabbage carrots celery chinese_cabbage corn cowpeas cucumber eggplant kale lettuce lima beans melons brussells sprouts okra onions peas peppers potatoes pumpkin radishes rhubarb salsify and parsnip soybeans squash sweet potatoes tomatoes turnips and rutabagas watermelon

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Edmund Dulac’s Illustrations for The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam

Edmund Dulac was a French-born illustrator who studied art at the famous École des Beaux-Arts in France; he moved to London as a young man and eventually became a British citizen. Though he did design British bank notes and postage stamps, he is remembered today for his beautiful book illustrations.

Dulac’s first commission was to illustrate the novels of the Brontë sisters, and soon after he was commissioned to illustrate The Arabian Nights (1907), an edition of William Shakespeare’s The Tempest (1908), and Stories from Hans Christian Andersen (1911), among many other projects. This was the golden age of illustration and publishers were producing scores of gorgeous limited edition gift books for children and adult collectors alike. Dulac was much in demand and his work is a perfect example of the Art Deco style that was so in vogue at the time.

The set of illustrations posted here were for a 1909 edition of The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, the famous Persian poem that’s nearly 1,000 years old! I love how Dulac takes us back hundreds of years to a magical place – and yet he does so while maintaining that turn-of-the-century style that we now can so easily recognize.

Of course, ancient Persia has been a popular subject in European art and literature for centuries, so Dulac would have had plenty of material to borrow from; but he was also undoubtedly inspired by the ancient poem itself. Here’s the first verse from Edward FitzGerald’s classic translation of The Rubaiyat – I think Dulac’s illustrations match its tone perfectly:

AWAKE ! for Morning in the Bowl of Night

Has flung the Stone that puts the Stars to Flight:

And Lo ! the Hunter of the East has caught

The Sultan’s Turret in a Noose of Light.

Edmund Dulac illustration for The Rubaiyat of Omar Edmund Dulac illustration for The Rubaiyat of Omar Edmund Dulac illustration for The Rubaiyat of Omar Edmund Dulac illustration for The Rubaiyat of Omar Edmund Dulac illustration for The Rubaiyat of Omar Edmund Dulac illustration for The Rubaiyat of Omar Edmund Dulac illustration for The Rubaiyat of Omar Edmund Dulac illustration for The Rubaiyat of Omar Edmund Dulac illustration for The Rubaiyat of Omar Edmund Dulac illustration for The Rubaiyat of Omar Edmund Dulac illustration for The Rubaiyat of Omar Edmund Dulac illustration for The Rubaiyat of Omar

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Photographs of New York City from the 1930’s

Here are some more souvenir photos, this time New York City. They came in the package that you can see here, and all twenty were still inside. I wish I could date these views precisely, but with the emphasis on the Empire State building among the scenes, they probably date from the beginning of its reign as the tallest building in the world, which began in 1931 and ended when the World Trade Center went up in 1972. Exact date aside, the views seem timeless, iconic, and are truly beautiful. Scroll down for views of  the Fulton Street Fish Market, the R.M.S. Queen Mary, the Brooklyn Bridge, and the ‘playground of the nation’-Times Square. postcardold photograph Empire State Building New York City George Washington Bridge at Dusk New York City Brooklyn Bridge New York City old photograph of Manhattan old photograph Empire State Building New York City Skyline old photograph Empire State Building New York City flatiron building New York City old photograph Fulton Street Fish Market Manhattan Grant's Tomb Riverside Drive Manhattan hanover square manhattan Saint John the Divine Manhattan old photograph midtown Manhattan from the Queensboro Bridge old photograph of Manhattan Queen Mary ship Cunnard White Star Line Manhattan Soldier's and Sailor's Tomb Manhattan old black and white photograph lower manhattan Brooklyn Bridge New York City Aerial View of the Empire State Building Manhattan old black and white photograph Times Square old black and white photograph Manhattan west

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