Archives for posts with tag: Postcards

Postcards I have added to my collection over the past six months.

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A miniature print of Messiah (1919) by Ernst Neuschul, an Austrian born painter associated with the New Objectivity movement. I purchased this from the New Walk Museum in Leicester, which holds many German Expressionist works – and those of a similar ilk – which I will write about in the near future. You cannot help but be pulled into this image, which is so unflinching and unapologetic. The figure reminds me of the singer Richard Hell.

 

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This is from a box of postcards of Penguin Classic covers, which I was able to purchase singly from Oxfam Books and Music. The novel is The Drowned World by JG Ballard. Ballard’s novels are mainly dystopian in style, his most famous works being Crash and Empire of the Sun. I haven’t read The Drowned World (yet), although I have read others of his, but the submerged image of the Chrysler building, combined with the strong colours, really spoke to me.

 

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I received this in the mail around a month ago. How exciting it was to receive. My friend was on holiday in Scotland and sent me this postcard of John Byrne’s Jock and the Tiger Cat (1968). It is from the Perth Museum and Art Gallery, where the painting is currently held. Byrne is a Scottish playwright and artist, probably most known for the television series Tutti Frutti starring Robbie Coltrane and Emma Thompson.

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The funfair is something I’ve spoken about a few times on this blog, so adding this image to my collection isn’t a great surprise. I like that the shot is slightly out of focus, connoting movement, that the top of the image almost looks tarnished, and the soft natural haze mingling with the neon lights. It reminds me of Coney Island.

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Whilst on a recent trip to Dublin, I stopped at the National Gallery of Ireland for a look at their current exhibition, Lines of Vision, curated to celebrate 150 years of the gallery. I purchased this postcard of a painting I was drawn to in the collection entitled Moonlight (1926) by Paul Henry. Henry was born in Belfast and was particularly fond of the West coast of Ireland, where he spent a great deal of time painting landscapes. I liked the simplicity of the work, and on a personal note it reminded me of sailing to Norway last year.

A few months ago I shared part of my postcard collection. Over the past six months I have added a few more to my paper hoard. They were found at a couple of museum gift shops and a stationers, and encompass many themes, including cats, the fairground, vintage advertising and sci-fi.

Let me know which one is your favourite and if you know of any creative ideas for their display.

'Black Cat' Japanese matchbox label, collection of Jane McDevitt

‘Black Cat’ Japanese matchbox label, collection of Jane McDevitt

Brasso ad from 1950

Brasso ad from 1950

Scrabble-inspired letter L, purchased from Paperchase

Scrabble-inspired letter L, purchased from Paperchase

Space Dust packaging from the 1980s

Space Dust packaging from the 1980s

Robot design, from Paperchase

Robot design, from Paperchase

Rowlands Rodeo Ark (date unknown)

Rowlands Rodeo Ark (date unknown)

I purchased this last postcard from Dingles Fairground Heritage Centre, which I wrote about here.

My second collection of items is less controversial, but interesting none the less. I started collecting postcards and art cards around six years ago.

These are not postcards that have been sent to me by others. They do not have a particular story beyond the images on the front, yet each of them means something to me in one way or another. Some of the images are stills from motion pictures, some are illustrated prints and many are inspired by nature.

I have around 30 postcards. Here I will show you a selection.

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The first two postcards are of a still and accompanying film poster for the 1920 German Expressionist movie, Cabinet of Dr Caligari. As you can see the drawing is a replica of the film still. I got these from the shop at the Deutsche Kinemathek Museum fur Film und Fernsehen (German Cinema Museum for Film and Television), in Berlin, where I also purchased a Metropolis (1927) one.

This particular film is one of my favourites, and I will explain why in another post.

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This postcard came with the DVD of Fellini’s La Strada from 1954. The image shows Giulietta Masina (Fellini’s wife), as Gelsomina, a poor Italian girl, sold by her mother to a travelling circus. Shot in black and white to emphasise the bleak period after World War Two, Gelsomina remains animated and tries to make the best of her situation. The fact that the DVD came with a postcard says a lot about the film – the imagery and cinematography is integral to the story. It is a film that inspires me to keep going, and the character of Gelsomina is testament to that.

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Another film still, from the Harold Lloyd classic Safety Last!(1923). This iconic moment is possibly the most famous in silent cinema. Perhaps this is my version of the ‘Hang in there, baby’ poster.

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I love this postcard for two reasons, the first being that I love cats. The second being that, I love the angle of the photograph, as if the cat is saying, ‘Here I am’, to the viewer.

This postcard shows the best traits of the cat – curious, inquisitive and playful. (From Paperchase, photograph by Sandra Laird, 1996).

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I’m not sure why I’m drawn to red love hearts (I’m not especially romantic), I just enjoy the imagery of them, and own four postcards that feature a red heart(s). I particularly like the stark white background in this, and the fact the heart appears to be bleeding bubbles. To me this photograph evokes many words: clinical, medical, faintly sexual. This is the simplest image of the lot, but in some ways, says the most. (From Paperchase, photograph by Howard Shooter, 2008).

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When I was a child I loved the message in a bottle notion and would often try to re-enact this whilst at the beach. I loved the idea that someone from a far off country would read my message and ponder the meaning. As a carrier of life (and death), people, and objects, the ocean became an important influence in my life, and I always feel at peace when I am on a quiet beach. (From Paperchase, photograph by Jeanet van der Meer).

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As a child I was also fascinated by lighthouses and the person (or people) who lived in them. This image shows the extreme isolation faced by the lighthouse keeper, and the volatile and threatening extremes of the ocean. Although most lighthouses are now unmanned, the pensive and solitary existence of the lighthouse keeper remains an oft-thought daydream. (Part of a set purchased at Ikea, photograph by Jean Guichard, 2007).

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The last postcard is visually appealing to me, but also inspires me due to the representation of nature. What I like about this postcard is the use of colour, the floral design, and the seahorses caught within the reeds. Seahorses inspire me due to their grace, their delicacy and how unique they are as creatures. (From Paperchase, design by Hanna Werning, 2005).

I spent my final New York day in Coney Island, Brooklyn. The beach at Coney Island is extremely clean, perhaps due in part to the hi-vis clad ‘beach cleaners’ with ‘Cool Hand Luke Failure to Communicate’ emblazoned on their tangerine backs.

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Restoration work and a closed New York Aquarium failed to disrupt my fun and I recalled the action in The Warriors as I walked along the boardwalk, surrounding myself with thick Russian accents.

My trip included a legendary Nathan’s hot dog, fresh lemonade and saltwater taffy, as well as a ride on the Wonder Wheel (the swinging cars are pretty scary).

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I had my fortune printed by Zoltar, a la Tom Hanks in Big and played some retro video games, before boarding the train back to Manhattan.