Tag Archives: Artist

Part 3 Even More Vintage New York City Books With Great Art Deco Dust Jackets

The Art of The Book #3 – New York City Deco Dust Jackets From The 20′s & 30′s

We continue with our look at vintage books about New York City with great dust jackets. (click here to read part 1 and here to read part 2)

Starting with a look at an all-time classic of deco design, New York Nights. (click on any photo to enlarge)

Art Deco dj New York NightsNew York Nights by Stephen Graham, New York: George H. Doran, 1927, dj illustrator, Kurt Wiese

A native of Scotland, author Stephen Graham (1884-1975) goes on a tour of  jazz age nightclubs, speakeasies and cabarets. Graham provides the grittier side of life in an up to the minute description of prohibition New York neighborhoods, establishments and people.

Kurt Wiese (1887-1974) illustrated over 300 books and later became an award-winning children’s book author. Besides the knockout jacket cover, Wiese drew all the illustrations contained in the book. This was the first American book he worked on. Continue reading

Part 2 More Vintage New York City Books With Great Art Deco Dust Jackets

The Art of The Book #2 – New York City Deco Dust Jackets From The 20′s & 30’s

We continue our look at some great New York City books from the 1920’s and 1930’s with exceptional artwork on their dust jackets. (click here to read part 1)

We begin with graphics on a dust jacket worthy of a large size poster from the quintessential art deco New York book. (click on any photo to enlarge)

Art Deco dj New York Paul MorandNew York by Paul Morand and Joaquin Vaquero Palacios. New York: Henry Holt, 1930, dj illustrator, Joaquin Vaquero Palacios.

A witty description of New York, via French writer Paul Morand, (1888-1976) from four visits he made to New York, none longer than a month, from between 1925-1929. Morand later became a supporter of the French Vichy regime.

Joaquin Vaquero (1900-1998) as he is credited in the book without the Palacios surname, was a Spanish architect and painter. His paintings are held in museums across the globe. Continue reading

Part 1 Vintage New York City Books With Great Art Deco Dust Jackets

The Art of The Book #1 – New York City Deco Dust Jackets From The 20’s & 30’s

From the 1920’s until the 1940’s, book publishers put out some phenomenal books about New York. They also hired talented artists to design the book’s dust jackets.

The eye-catching art deco graphics were meant to attract potential buyers. Unfortunately, most people who purchased books 80 years ago would discard the dust jacket once they brought the book home with them.

Because of that, many of these books from that time are very scarce in their original dust jacket.

This is the first part of a five part series looking at the dust jackets of books about New York City, the artists that created the work and the authors.

Below are some fine examples of New York City books from the golden era of publishing.

(click on any photo to enlarge)

Art Deco dj New York By QuexNew York by Quex.  New York: David McKay, 1928, dj illustrator, Dixon (possibly Arthur A. Dixon)

Quex was the pseudonym of reporter George H.F. Nichols (1881-1933) of The Evening News of London. Nichols was at the time of his death one of the highest paid reporters in the world. Nichols was the originator of articles written in the form of “the diary of the man about town.” Quex’s observations about about New York are well worth reading.

The dust jacket is classic New York, but I am unsure about the attribution to Arthur Dixon, so we will leave biographical information out until someone can provide a conclusive identification on the artist.

Continue reading

You Are Creative And You Are Wasting Your Life

The Most Important Piece Of Career Advice You Will Ever Read

Forget all those best-selling, life affirming books which “reveal” valuable lessons that you should follow to have a happy life or a lucrative career.

Linds Redding, an award winning graphic designer who worked in the advertising industry for nearly 30 years, started a blog in 2011, the day he found out he had esophageal cancer.

The piece he wrote on March 11, 2012 called A Short Lesson In Perspective is a must read for anyone who is indulged in a creative profession or aspires to one. Even if you do not consider yourself creative, this is still well worth the few minutes it will take to read. It is not technically advice as much as it is self-reflection that has enormous value to the reader.

It is 2,900 words long, but even for those with short attention spans, I urge you to read to the end.

The whole article can, and should, be read here, and an excerpt (not from the beginning) is reproduced below:

My old life looks, and feels, very different from the outside.

And here’s the thing.

It turns out I didn’t actually like my old life nearly as much as I thought I did. I know this now because I occasionally catch up with my old colleagues and work-mates. They fall over each other to  enthusiastically show me the latest project they’re working on. Ask my opinion. Proudly show off their technical prowess (which is not inconsiderable.) I find myself glazing over but politely listen as they brag about who’s had the least sleep and the most takaway food. “I haven’t seen my wife since January, I can’t feel my legs any more and I think I have scurvy but another three weeks and we’ll be done. It’s got to be done by then The client’s going on holiday. What do I think?”

What do I think?

I think you’re all fucking mad. Deranged. So disengaged from reality it’s not even funny. It’s a fucking TV commercial. Nobody give a shit.

This has come as quite a shock I can tell you. I think, I’ve come to the conclusion that the whole thing was a bit of a con. A scam. An elaborate hoax.

The scam works like this:

1. The creative industry operates largely by holding ‘creative’ people ransom to their own self-image, precarious sense of self-worth, and fragile – if occasionally out of control ego. We tend to set ourselves impossibly high standards, and are invariably our own toughest critics. Satisfying our own lofty demands is usually a lot harder than appeasing any client, who in my experience tend to have disappointingly low expectations. Most artists and designers I know would rather work all night than turn in a sub-standard job. It is a universal truth that all artists think they a frauds and charlatans, and live in constant fear of being exposed. We believe by working harder than anyone else we can evaded detection. The bean-counters rumbled this centuries ago and have been profitably exploiting this weakness ever since. You don’t have to drive creative folk like most workers. They drive themselves. Just wind ‘em up and let ‘em go.

2. Truly creative people tend not to be motivated by money. That’s why so few of us have any. The riches we crave are acknowledgment and appreciation of the ideas that we have and the things that we make. A simple but sincere “That’s quite good.” from someone who’s opinion we respect (usually a fellow artisan) is worth infinitely more than any pay-rise or bonus. Again, our industry masters cleverly exploit this insecurity and vanity by offering glamorous but worthless trinkets and elaborately staged award schemes to keep the artists focused and motivated. Like so many demented magpies we flock around the shiny things and would peck each others eyes out to have more than anyone else. Handing out the odd gold statuette is a whole lot cheaper than dishing out stock certificates or board seats.  (continued on Lind’s web site)

Linds Redding passed away at the age of 52, October 31, 2012.

Faces In The Rocks

The Incredible Rock Sculptures Of Rotheneuf France

photo courtesy flickr – Drisc67

Location of Rotheneuf Rock Sculptures

In the village of Rotheneuf on the Brittany coast of France, one man carved over 300 magnificent sculptures into the granite cliffs overlooking the sea.

This amazing work of faces, creatures and scenes were sculpted into the rocks painstakingly by a priest, Adolphe-Julien (Abbé) Fouré (1839-1910) over about a fifteen year period. (Sources vary on the number of years he was active.)

It was painstaking because when he was older, Abbé Fouré suffered a stroke which caused the left side of his body to be paralyzed. Over the years he eventually became deaf and his speech got very slurred.

Fouré  retired from the priesthood and became a hermit, renting a cabin by the cliffs of the village. In the early 1890’s with one side of his body crippled,  Fouré, began creating sculptures in the rocks, that told the history of the powerful Rotheneuf family. He continued carving up until about three years before his death on February 10, 1910.  Continue reading

Madison Square In A Vintage Painting

Paul Cornoyer Madison Square in the Afternoon – 1910

Paul Cornoyer (1864-1923) was an impressionist painter who worked primarily in New York City. This beautiful scene was painted in 1910 and is looking east across Madison Square Park, towards the tower of Madison Square Garden.

Madison Square Garden was built in 1890 by McKim, Mead & White, and took up the whole block from 26th to 27th streets between Madison and Park Avenues. Madison Square Garden was demolished in 1926 to make way for the New York Life Building.

New York in the 1920’s and 30’s as Seen by Luigi Kasimir

Six Views of New York by Luigi Kasimir

In 2000 and 2001 Swann Galleries (a New York auction house) held New York City auctions.  All the items: books, posters, maps, ephemera, photographs, prints and art were related to the city. It was a great concept that they discontinued after 2001. It was at these auctions where I first encountered the art work of Luigi Kasimir.

Kasimir was born in 1881 in the Austrian-Hungarian Empire and later came to New York where he repeatedly captured the architectural sights of the city. Today, Kasimir is best known for his detailed etchings, many of which were done in color, which apparently was not the norm for early 20th century etchings.  The New York Times distinguished Kasimir from other etchers of the time at a contemporary exhibition in 1926 by referring to him as a “colorist.” Continue reading