Tuesday, June 30, 2009
(Above) A sad 1/6th plate ambrotype on ruby glass shows a dead little girl propped up in a chair. Click image for larger view.
(Above) Startling postmortem of a young woman wearing a white dress in a white satin lined coffin. She has small flowers placed in her hair and each hand. A rosary and bible are placed in her right hand and a wedding band can be seen on her left hand. She is young and possibly a newlywed. Click image for larger view.
(Above) A very nice 1/6th plate postmortem tintype of a man in an early diamond shape coffin. A large black bow-tie is tied around his neck. Click image for larger view.
(Above) An unusual post-mortem photo of a young boy, placed in a sitting position as if asleep. Photograph by G. W. Barnes of Rockford, IL, circa 1890. Click image for larger view.
(Above) Back of cabinet card, highly decorated which was typical of the genre. Click image for larger view.
POST-MORTEM PHOTOGRAPHS were quite common in the 19th century, but the practice is less common today. All of these photos are exceptional examples that have been sold (but some may still be available) from one photo dealer on eBay.
Be sure and click on images for a larger view.
Monday, June 29, 2009
Click on image for larger view.
I SPENT ABOUT 15 YEARS OF MY LIFE AS A DESIGNER, AND FROM TIME TO TIME I GOT TO WORK ON SOME interesting annual reports. Of course, each year, the design of financial charts was a focused part of the endeavor. I watched how charts got quite abstract from time to time, usually cheered by other designers while the elderly shareholders struggled to make sense of the tiny type, and unusual approach to a pie chart, bar chart or line chart or (usually) other.
Discovering these “nonsense charts” on Flickr just made my day. Beautiful in their use of color, transparencies and three-dimensional approach on what looks like old, vintage paper, these charts mean nothing and they mean everything—depending on who is viewing them. Just like the financial section of an annual report, I guess. They would make wonderful large posters.
I would like to be able to thank the maker of these charts by name, but he (she) goes by the moniker of 1chord and a fib. You can other work by this talented person by going here.
All images © 1chord and a fib.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Click on image for larger view.
Click on image for larger view.
AS FAR AS ANTIQUES AND OBJECTS GO, I AM NOT MUCH OF A FAN OF THE VICTORIAN ERA. I am interested in that period from a historical point of view, but let’s face it—the Victorians were fussy and over the top in opulence. Victorian women loved to quilt and sew, and make things for the home. Magazines were plentiful, and craft-like projects were often discussed within the pages. This led to many similar “things” being made in different parts of the country that still show up at antiques stores today.
These Victorian picture frames are a good example of a craft-like project that women did during that period. I have to say, I like them. Maybe because of the many rock and shell-encrusted art environments I have seen over the years, these compulsively made frames seem to fit a place I like.
I found these on 1stdibs.
Saturday, June 27, 2009
FOR YOUR SATURDAY MORNING CARTOON, enjoy this short video by Sam Fuller, a video artist that I happily discovered. Poetry comes in many forms. There are no words, just the beautiful flight of a paper airplane.
Friday, June 26, 2009
(Above) “Cathedral Chair,” bromoil print © Jill Skupin Burkholder Click on image for larger view.
(Above) “Stairs,” bromoil print © Jill Skupin Burkholder Click on image for larger view.
(Above) “Rain Girl,” bromoil print © Jill Skupin Burkholder Click on image for larger view.
(Above) “Marching Guards,” bromoil print © Jill Skupin Burkholder Click on image for larger view.
(Above) “Baseballs,” bromoil print © Jill Skupin Burkholder Click on image for larger view.
(Above) “Mirror at Terezin,” bromoil print © Jill Skupin Burkholder Click on image for larger view.
(Above) “Lights at Terezin,” bromoil print © Jill Skupin Burkholder Click on image for larger view.
(Above) “Beds at Terezin,” bromoil print © Jill Skupin Burkholder Click on image for larger view.
(Above) “Barracks,” bromoil print © Jill Skupin Burkholder Click on image for larger view.
I JUST FELL IN LOVE WITH THE PHOTOGRAPHIC IMAGES OF JILL SKUPIN BURKHOLDER. It’s not just the old photographic processes she uses— it’s her vision, her photographic eye. These images, which she took in various spots across the world, push ordinary objects into a dreamlike place. Part nightmare, part memory—Burkholder’s images are truly extraordinary.
Burkholder works in the bromoil process, combining a century old technique with new digital approaches. She has taught bromoil’s painterly brush-and-ink techniques in workshops for groups including the Texas Photographic Society, the Academia de Fotografia in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico and Photographers’ Formulary in Montana.
From Wiki: The Bromoil Process was an early photographic process that was very popular with the Pictorialists during the first half of the twentieth century. The soft, paint-like qualities of the prints are very typical for this genre, and have recently led to some art photographers using the process again.
The bromoil process was based on the oil print, whose origins go back to the mid-nineteenth century. A drawback of oil prints was that the gelatin used was too slow to permit an enlarger to be used, so that negatives had to be the same dimensions as the positives. After G.E.H. Rawlins published a 1904 article on the oil print process, E.J. Wall in 1907 described theoretically how it should be possible to use a smaller negative in an enlarger to produce a silver bromide positive, which should then be bleached and hardened, to be inked afterwards as in the oil process. C. Welborne Piper then executed this theory in practice, and so the bromoil process was born.
Jill began working with photography in 1985 studying both traditional and digital photography and experimenting with various alternative photography techniques. She learned the bromoil process from Gene Laughter, a photographer who researched the technique by studying historical writings and interviewing members of The Bromoil Circle of Great Britain. She is a member of the International Society of Bromoilists, a small group of artists working in this elusive medium.
Her images have been published in recent publications, Black and White Camera Craft by William Cheung and Art Business News, “Reborn Victorians.” Her bromoils have been exhibited throughout the U.S and can be found in private and public collections.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Georgia Bullock Co August 29th 1857
My Loving Miss Patsy
I hav long bin wishing to imbrace this presant and pleasant opertunity of unfolding my Seans and fealings Since I was constrained to leav my Long Loved home and friends which I cannot never gave my Self the Least promis of returning to. I am well and this is Injoying good hlth and has ever Since I Left Randolph. whend I left Randolf I went to Rockingham and Stad there five weaks and then I left there and went to Richmon virgina to be Sold and I Stade there three days and was bought by a man by the name of Groover and braught to Georgia and he kept me about Nine months and he being a trader Sold me to a man by the name of Rimes and he Sold me to a man by the name of Lester and he has owned me four years and Says that he will keep me til death Siperates us without Some of my old north Caroliner friends wants to buy me again. my Dear Mistress I cannot tell my fealings nor how bad I wish to See you and old Boss and Mss Rahol and Mother. I do not [k]now which I want to See the worst Miss Rahol or mother I have thaugh[t] that I wanted to See mother but never befour did I [k]no[w] what it was to want to See a parent and could not. I wish you to gave my love to old Boss Miss Rahol and bailum and gave my manafold love to mother brothers and sister and pleas to tell them to Right to me So I may here... (continued)(Above is actual letter, below is translation): Click for larger view.
... from them if I cannot See them and also I wish you to right to me and Right me all the nuse. I do want to now whether old Boss is Still Living or now and all the rest of them and I want to [k]now whether balium is maried or no. I wish to [k]now what has Ever become of my Presus little girl. I left her in goldsborough with Mr. Walker and I have not herd from her Since and Walker Said that he was going to Carry her to Rockingham and gave her to his Sister and I want to [k]no[w] whether he did or no as I do wish to See her very mutch and Boss Says he wishes to [k]now whether he will Sell her or now and the least that can buy her and that he wishes a answer as Soon as he can get one as I wis him to buy her an my Boss being a man of Reason and fealing wishes to grant my trubled breast that mutch gratification and wishes to [k]now whether he will Sell her now. So I must come to a close by Escribing my Self you long loved and well wishing play mate as a Servant until death
to Miss Patsey Padison
of North Caroliner
My Bosses Name is James B Lester and if you Should think a nuff of me to right me which I do beg the faver of you as a Sevant direct your letter to Millray Bullock County Georgia. Pleas to right me So fare you well in love.--------------------
WHAT YOU JUST READ ABOVE IS AN EXTREMELY RARE LETTER FROM A SLAVE BY THE NAME OF VILET LESTER in the Special Collections Library at Duke University. It’s not every day that we get to actually read a letter by an African while enslaved in these United States during the period up to their Emancipation by President Lincoln in 1863. That is why, when I stumbled upon this—I figured it was too good not to share. Obviously, the digitizing of old documents is bringing research to our fingertips. I feel so fortunate to read this, and especially love the cadence and dialect—which we can get a good sense of by the particular spellings—published here as it read in the letter. According to historians there, this letter “is one of less than a dozen such letters that the Duke Special Collections Library has been able to identify among the vast amount of plantation records held at the Special Collections Library.”
This letter and others were showcased in a wonderful book about letter writing entitled “More than Words: Illustrated Letters from the Archives of the Smithsonian’s Archive of American Art” by Liza Kirwin. It was published by the renowned Princeton Architectural Press and you can order it by clicking here. The ISBN number is: 9781568985237.
Note: A transcription of this letter has also been published in the 2nd edition of Roots of Bitterness: Documents of the Social History of American Women published by Northeastern University Press, 1996.
The Vilet Lester letter © Special Collections Library at Duke University. Learn more about this letter and other unique collections at Duke by clicking here.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Crime Scene, NYC. Image © Weegee Estate. Click for larger view.
Map pinpointing murder locations in N.Y.C. See below for link to interactive map. Click for larger view.
OK, CHECK THIS OUT. THE CITY OF NEW YORK HAS BEEN PINPOINTING THE EXACT LOCATION OF MURDERS IN THEIR 5 BOROUGHS since 2003. The map above shows all the murders since that time, and what is even more informational is that they have posted an interactive map online. There, you can mouse over any dot and see:
(1) Month and time of day of murder (2) Race and ethnicity of victim (3) Race and ethnicity of perpetrator (4) Sex of victim (5) Sex of perpetrator (6) Age of victim (7) Age of perpetrator (8) Weapon used
Since 2003, 3,402 murders have occurred in the five boroughs of Brooklyn, The Bronx, Queens, Manhattan and Staten Island. And since this is powered by Google Earth, you can zoom into to the very streets where the crimes occurred. Interestingly, but not unexpected— most murders occur at night and the summer months record the most murders.
Click here to see the interactive map.
For a little morbid fun, I have posted some vintage crime scene photos by the great Weegee, who shot his photos in New York City during the 1940s and 50s.
All photos by Weegee (Arthur Fellig) are © The Weegee Estate.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Since 1994 Tamer has been living in Turkey. He works as a freelance designer and tries to mix East-West cultures in his works.
Koseli says “Since childhood, I was impressed by the Swiss Legacy, pictograms, posters and especially the font Helvetica.”
HIS PROJECT IS CALLED, WISHES OF 20th CENTURY and following is Tamer’s description (I have corrected some of his use of the English language for better understanding):
“Wishes happen... wishes not happen... Is there any century in human history without wishes? The students who take the occurence of wishes from (the 20th century) to days as a design problem, during the design phase of project they convert the project from surface of cube to 3 dimensional product. For these reason when I began to design the logo, poster, tee and tree I built everything on cubes. In our country people make a wish and attach a fabric on tree. We have a lot of wishes about past centuries but I think we must hope for the future... This tree came out based on idea, the visitors of our stand (Milano - Salone Satellite E37) write their hopes and post it on tree. I like that the tree turns green with hopes.”
Saturday, June 20, 2009
(Above: Click this image for a larger view)
THESE LAMPS REMIND ME OF A TINKERER’S INVENTION DONE MAYBE 50 YEARS AGO. CLUNKY AND AWKWARD— these are exactly the qualities that make these pipe lamps so charming. The lamps, which sell for $169-$229, are handmade by Design2009 studio. The KOZO series lighting is made of galvanized iron parts, a “Cool Tap” light switch (developed by Design2009), and can use either a standard light bulb or a halogen light bulb.
From KOZO: “The unique, functional lights are designed for a wide range of indoor home environments. The KOZO parts come from around the world and each bares the trademarks of its origin country. The materials are left raw and alive, with little authentic rust at the joints and the marks from hand tools that were used in the assembly process. KOZO products are handmade and assembled by us at the studio.”
Friday, June 19, 2009
(You REALLY have to click on these images to read them!)
(Click on image to read!)
FROM HIS PHOTOGRAPH AND ESPECIALLY HIS ART, AUSTIN KLEON LOOKS LIKE THE KIND OF GUY I’D LIKE TO KNOW. And why not? He is incredibly creative, has a sense of humor and is an American original.
What you are looking at here are examples of his “blackout poetry,” his way of creating prose by finding the words he wishes to keep within a story or article in the newspaper— and blacking out the rest with a permanent marker. Like a stone carver, Kleon “cuts away” the parts he doesn’t need and keeps the parts that are essential to his “found” poem. I think it is great. The final words Austin “keeps” have to fall within a readable order—giving us newly “discovered” poems that are poignant, funny, right-on and right for our times.
Austin lives in Austin, Texas with his wife Meg and has a book of Newspaper Blackout Poems coming out by publisher Harper Collins in February 2010. Learn more about Austin Kleon by visiting his Web site here.