Monday, August 31, 2009
Sunday, August 30, 2009
I apologize for the lower picture quality than I usually post. It's harder to get a good quality picture with my camera, which I have to use since this can't fit on my scanner.
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Thursday, August 27, 2009
In 2000, eBay was told by victims' rights groups that these items should not be allowed, because they carry violent and painful memories. I can understand why they take this position. The atrocities committed were horrible, and those items do carry violent and painful memories. However, I think it's important that these pieces of history be preserved. They are a reminder of the atrocities that occurred not too far in the distant past. They remind us of how people that are decent in most aspects of their lives, can be so monstrous to fellow human beings. We shouldn't forget this. We need to remember.
I've never been able to visit it but in Big Rapids, MI, at Ferris State University, there is a museum that preserves these types of artifacts. It is called the "Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia." On its website, the curator Dr. David Pilgrim provides another reason why preservation of these objects is important-- it opens discussion and allows us to deconstruct the taboo. To speak about the unspeakable. We can ask questions and understand racism and everything associated with it. We can understand its history and confront it. Forgetting about it and pushing it into the past will not make it go away.
Of course, people could potentially collect this material, because they are hateful. However, I think those people would be intolerant and hateful, regardless of whether they could purchase racist, or otherwise prejudiced, historical material.
So, I post this piece for the reasons above. I will post similar pieces in the future. It's more comfortable not to talk about these pieces or display them. But, comfort doesn't beget progress.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Monday, August 24, 2009
In the world of "pin-up," the most celebrated artist is arguably Gil Elvgren, master illustrator often called the Norman Rockwell of Pin-Up Artists. His paintings were much more thematic than the muted, airbrushed world of the Vargas pin-up. While the Vargas pin-ups were usually painted on a single-color background with few to no "props," the Elvgren pin-ups were full of bright colors with more action elements including strategically props with which the pin-ups interacted. They pop with life and, although there is no denying that Vargas was also a great artist, the Elvgren pin-ups are more evocative of the era in which they were painted.
What I've posted here is two examples of original Elvgren studio pin-up photographs from our collection. Elvgren photographed his models in his studio, and then painted from the reference pictures, admittedly idealizing the actual features of the models. Elvgren did not like to paint from life and preferred these still photos for reference, perhaps because he did not want to get too "stuck" on what the model really looked like. These photos were purchased from the collection of Elvgren apprentice pin-up painter Donald "Rusty" Rust. What's splendid about them is that they retain so much character. Many of the photos we obtained still have tape from being adhered to Elvgren's easel and some even have splotches of his paint. The identity of the models shown here is not known, but prominent Elvgren models included Arlene Dahl, Myrna Loy, Myrna Hansen, Donna Reed, Kim Novak, and Barbara Hale. The witch painting is titled "Riding High" (1959) and the bannister painting is titled "Look Out Below" (1956).
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Just a bit of eye candy from the pre-code comics on this sleepy Thursday morning. Alex Schomburg always knew how to wow his audience with bright colors, clean lines, and a saucy scene. Schomburg's are some of the most eye-popping covers in all of comic book history. Not much needs to be said for a sexy jungle scene. It pretty much speaks for itself.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
As a fan of both vintage ephemera and the show "Prison Break," I really dig this comic. It's a pre-code comic and obviously was around long before the show. Anyway, enjoy the excellent art on this vintage classic. Avon Books published this comic, and they re-used the art on a later vintage paperback called "Blondie Iscariot." The art was so good, they had to use it again!
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Monday, August 17, 2009
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Beautiful women in prison... "Oh, no! What shall they do without men?" Fight each other of course! So, you thought I was going to say something else, didn't you? I would tell you to get your minds out of the gutter, but without the gutter, my mind would be homeless. But it is true, according to this assortment of 50's and 60's B-movie posters, women in prison get into hardcore fisticuffs (I've always wanted to use that word!). If there's any hint of that other women's prison movie convention, it's probably only in the form of knowing glances during the film itself. The last photo of "Riot in Juvenile Prison" is not necessarily a women in prison film, but I thought it was a fitting addition to this group.