Jump to content

The Lost Art Of...


Patrycja
 Share

Recommended Posts

On 1/4/2016 at 0:07 AM, redrum said:

Yes, those are awesome photos. He ranks right up there with the best of the old time street photographers. I have recently gotten back into my old film cameras too. I have a Rolleicord, a Nikon FTN, a Nikomat, 3 lenses and a Gossen Luna Pro meter. I am thinking of trying to get a Hasselblad too now that they are fairly affordable. I think I've actually become bored with digital photography. It just doesn't have the same feel as cocking the shutter, hearing that nice sound as the shutter trips and using the light meter. Here's one I took back in the 70's. The original was in color.

DUBLIN HORSE & TREE.jpg

Beautiful photo there, red! I'm so glad to know that you have started taking up photography again! :D Photography is an art. It takes so much skill to capture an image like the one you posted! :notworthy: Digital photography (especially selfies) are overrated! :lol: 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Reading this article really made me smile. Looks like there is some hope, for the art of letter writing, after all! :D More youngsters and Universities should take this sort of initiative, IMO. 

I myself, love writing letters. A really nice friend of mine, on this very forum wrote me a long and lovely letter about the magic of Led Zeppelin in concert and I in turn, wrote him a letter, for his birthday. 

I use my email, just for the sake of convenience and quick reachability, but if it were up to me (if I actually owned a post office :lol: ), I will be sending out hand written notes and letters, day after day! B) 

How the art of letter writing is helping to tackle loneliness

Doris Gagen, from Otley, is one of a number of elderly people who have been linked with a student penpal as part of a scheme working to tackle loneliness. Picture: Tony Johnson

Doris Gagen, from Otley, is one of a number of elderly people who have been linked with a student penpal as part of a scheme working to tackle loneliness. Picture: Tony Johnson
 

THE ART of letter writing may have taken a back seat to email, text messages and even video calls, but a University of Leeds project has revived it to help tackle loneliness in older people.

Students from the School of English have been paired with penpals across Yorkshire, and the scheme has made “a huge difference” to both the students, helping them to settle into a new city, and their penpals, some of whom are housebound with no family. 

 

Bethany Gethings, Georgina Binnie and Lorna Donaghy  with some of the letters they have received affter setting up a penpal scheme  to help loneliness in older people. Picture: Gary Longbottom

Bethany Gethings, Georgina Binnie and Lorna Donaghy with some of the letters they have received affter setting up a penpal scheme to help loneliness in older people. Picture: Gary Longbottom

The project began last year as a pilot, developed by PhD student Georgina Binnie. After winning funding from the University’s Leeds for Life volunteering scheme and the English department, she trawled community groups, coffee mornings and lunch clubs across Leeds and Otley to find the first 14 older people who wanted to take part.

They were then matched, based on their interests, with 14 student volunteers, who would write to each other every two weeks. In June, at the end of the university term, the penpals met up at a party.

The pilot was such a success that this year’s project has doubled in size. It has been broadened to include older participants from across Yorkshire, and is on the lookout for more people to get involved.

Miss Binnie, 27, said: “The participants have told us how getting the letters has come to mean a great deal to them. The students are really committed on an emotional level too, and really care for their penpals.

People can still get involved in the scheme.

People can still get involved in the scheme

“Getting something in the post that’s not junk mail or a bill is great for the students, too – it helps them feel part of the community.”

Initially participants came from organisations and community groups like St Michael’s Church in Headingley, Bramley Elderly Action and Otley Elderly Action.

The chairman of the Otley group, Doris Gagen, 85, was one of the first to sign up.

She said: “The thing I like most about letter writing is that you can go back and read them again. With winter coming, and long nights drawing in, there’s plenty of time to sit and construct a reply.

“I keep busy, and have a computer so I email and use Facebook, but writing a letter is so much better. You look out for the postman coming.”

Mrs Gagen built such a rapport with her penpal, Bethany Gethings, 20, that the pair continued to write together when Miss Gethings returned to Essex for the summer, and they plan on meeting up for coffee.

Miss Gethings said: “Nowadays you don’t get to write a letter very often – you just send a text message or phone, and I really like allocating that time to physically sit down and write.

“I really enjoy hearing about what Doris has been up to or where she’s been – she’s become another friend.”

In the pilot project, letters were themed around the centenary of the First Word War, and students used materials from the Brotherton Library’s Liddle collection and the Leodis photographic archive. For student Lorna Donaghy, 23, writing to her penpal Tony has enabled them to share a love of First World War poetry and literature.

She said: “I was really drawn to the project as a break from the stress of my degree and exams.

“We’ve written about a range of things, from travel and poetry to Bob Dylan. The process of writing and receiving letters has been really nice.”

This year’s theme is based around Yorkshire heritage and history. The letters will also be digitised and archived by the University to recognise the importance of the written word.

Miss Binnie added: “Some of the students are new to the area and don’t know a lot about Yorkshire. Sharing experiences is enjoyable for both sides.”

If you, or someone you know, would like to write to one of the students, contact Miss Binnie at the School of English, University of Leeds, LS2 9JT, G.E.Binnie@leeds.ac.uk.

The Yorkshire Post wants loneliness to be universally recognised as a health priority in our communities.

We launched the Loneliness: The Hidden Epidemic campaign in February 2014.

In partnership with the Campaign to End Loneliness, we also want to encourage more people to volunteer for support services. For full details, visit yorkshirepost.co.uk/loneliness.

Source: http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/campaigns/how-the-art-of-letter-writing-is-helping-to-tackle-loneliness-1-7495568#ixzz3yGSvrOpu

Link to comment
Share on other sites

An Archive That Explores The Beautiful Lost Art Of Letter Writing

03/13/2015 09:38 pm ET | Updated Mar 13, 2015

"Letter writing is probably the most beautiful manifestation in human relations," John Graham wrote to his wife Elinor in 1958. "In fact, it is its finest residue."

So begins Liza Kirwin's More Than Words, a stunning collection of artist-made illustrated letters mined from the Smithsonian Archives. The book features over 90 works of mailable artwork in the forms of thank you notes, love letters, rambling descriptions, holiday greetings and simple how-do-you-do's. The personal details regarding aspects of life, business, family and love, are accented with images, filling in the literal and figurative blanks to communicate what words sometimes cannot.

letters

 

"In a letter to his wife, painter Walt Kuhn writes, 'One should never forget that the power of words is limited,'" reads the books introduction. Indeed, it's more than obvious that for many of the artists included in the book, images are not flowery adornments, nor secondary means of communication in any sense. For artists like Andy Warhol, Ray Johnson, Rutherford Boyd and Gladys Nilsson, it appears that images are at the core of interpersonal contact, an instinctual and necessary mode of human connection.

Every letter represented is dated and described, providing readers a brief and intimate glimpse into an artist's most personal creations. Unlike the artworks that hang on museum walls or live in artist catalogues, these visual creations were never intended to leave their recipients' grasps.

calder

Alexander Calder

As you might expect, each artist letter is as unique and vibrant as the respective maker's well-known works. In a written invitation to artist Ben Shahn, Alexander Calder infuses his message with his inimitable style of stark shapes and bold color, turning a map to his home into an abstract composition, somewhat reminiscent of a flattened version of the mobiles for which he's so well known. The 1949 message, despite its seemingly offhand creation, maintains a sense of harmonious equilibrium that almost hovers above the page.

kahlo

Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo's note is at once sensual, tortured and vulnerable -- par for the course for the beloved surrealist. In 1940, following her divorce from Diego Rivera, she wrote to her friend Emmy Lou Packard thanking her for taking care of Rivera during an ailment and working as one of his assistants. She closes the note, "Kiss Diego for me and tell him I love him more than my own life," sealing the heartfelt message with red lipstick kisses -- one for Diego, one for Emmy Lou, and one for her son. Kahlo and Rivera remarried soon after the exchange.

And then there's Andy Warhol, whose 1949 handwritten letter to Russell Lynes is as full of deadpan humor and creepy-cool doodles as we could have hoped. "I graduated from Carnegie Tech and now I'm in NY city moving from one roach infested apartment to another," he writes. Warhol's letter reaffirms what we've always suspected: this artist would have had a great Twitter :lol: 

warhol

Andy Warhol

"Illustrated letters are inspired communications," Kirwin writes in the introduction. "They have the power to transport the reader to another place and time -- to recreate the sights, sounds, attitudes and imagination of the author." We have to agree. In an age when long distance communication is most often enacted via text, email or direct message, we have to admit there's something almost magical about ripping open a personal envelope that's flown across the country, holding within it a tiny art piece designed just for you.

Basically, if you've ever dreamt of being Frida Kahlo's pen pal -- no judgment, we definitely have -- this is probably your best shot.

Books are available from Princeton Architectural Press and Amazon, and, in the meantime, check out excerpts from the book below. All letters are from the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, and appear in More Than Words by Liza Kirwin. For more information about the archives, visit aaa.si.edu.

slide_409130_5135540_compressed.jpg

Alfred Joseph Frueh

slide_409130_5135544_compressed.jpg

Antoine de Saint Exupery

slide_409130_5135546_compressed.jpg

Eero Saarinen

slide_409130_5135550_compressed.jpg

Gladys Nilsson

slide_409130_5135552_compressed.jpg

Joseph Lindon Smith

slide_409130_5135556_compressed.jpg

Moses Soyer

slide_409130_5135558_compressed.jpg

Ray Johnson

slide_409130_5135560_compressed.jpg

Rockwell Kent

slide_409130_5135562_compressed.jpg

Rutherford Boyd

slide_409130_5135554_compressed.jpg

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 1/5/2016 at 1:41 PM, redrum said:

I believe this guy is still in San Francisco.

https://vimeo.com/46128116

Thanks for the photo and the link, redrum. I love the idea of the man being in his 80's and still at it.

Kiwi, those letters are beautiful! People don't really write letters any more. Still, whenever traveling, I send postcards, a more personal touch. Illustrated letters, though, are on a whole other level. Thanks for posting!

I was browsing Jonesy's site trying to stay awake for the Aussie Open final, and stumbled upon a link to his amazingly talented luthier Andy Manson. Here are just some of the creations he's made for Jonesy over the years. Even though some of them are familiar, seeing them up close reveals just how exquisite and finely crafted they are:

56aed5d45abdf_1AndyManson-JohnPaulJones- 56aed6df899f1_2AndyManson-MadeforJohnPau

56aed6f0a8d14_3AndyManson-JohnPaulJones- 56aed709f3dde_4AndyManson-JohnPaulJones-

56aed7236851f_5AndyManson-JohnPaulJones- 56aed73425bc4_6AndyManson-JohnPaulJones- 56aed74d4ab4b_7AndyManson-JohnPaulJones- 56aed7604dfee_8AndyManson-JohnPaulJones- 56aed7729d77b_9AndyManson-JohnPaulJones-

56aed789acddd_10AndyManson-JohnPaulJones 56aed79fde815_11AndyManson-JohnPaulJones 56aed7b520b57_12AndyManson-JohnPaulJones 56aed7d903e71_13AndyManson-JohnPaulJones

56aed817b1360_14AndyManson-JohnPaulJones 56aed8307567f_15AndyManson-JohnPaulJones

See the rest of the instruments for Jonesy here: http://www.andymanson.co.uk/the_john_paul_jones_collection

Some info about Andy Manson's approach to his creations:

Inside the making 

" I have evolved a very hands on approach to my building over the years, I tend not to use molds except for the F style mandolins and I do as much hand work as possible. This way I feel connected to the instrument through the whole process.

 My inclination is towards an understated visual appearance.... simple bindings, straight grained wood... although I can't resist the really dramatic maple for mandolins.

As for the sound...well the opposite to understated.

 The woods are carefully hand selected to be the most suited to the particular instrument style. 

 I want the instrument to have a broad and even frequency response, a silky smooth neck and stable construction.

Strong but light and very responsive. What I'm trying to achieve is for the player to be able to access a wide variety of tones rather than just one sound. 

This allows the player and instrument to speak as one voice. "

http://www.andymanson.co.uk/inside_the_making/

Check out the rest of Andy Manson's website, the luthier who helps Jonesy sound so great: http://www.andymanson.co.uk/index/

Edited by Patrycja
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Back to books for a moment, here are some examples of those with beautiful fore-edge paintings:

Fore Edge Painting - An Introduction

by Anne C. Bromer

From the earliest period when books began to be printed and accumulated, artists and bookbinders embellished their covers with designs and illustrations. The painting of book edges developed later, but few readers have ever seen these decorations. They are an obscure art form, hidden beneath a surface of gold. When revealed, there is only wonderment! It is as if you discovered magic on a book before you even read its opening lines. The story of how this idea began and the extraordinary collection of these edge paintings at The Boston Public Library follows.

When you hold the covers of a book in your hands, you will see three edges and a spine. The top edge and bottom edge are obviously named, but the edge at which you open the book has an unfamiliar title. It is referred to as the FORE-EDGE. Originally this edge of the book was titled in ink for the purpose of identification. Then the old books were stacked one on top of the other with the edge facing outwards in order to read its title. In the beginning, there was no effort to beautify the fore-edge.

07_04_000180A_full_0.jpg

Diana with a Handmaid

By the sixteenth century, a Venetian artist, Cesare Vecellio, devised a way to enhance the beauty of a book by painting on its edges. The images, mostly portraits, were easily viewed when the covers of the book were closed. A century later in England, Samuel Mearne, a bookbinder to the royal family, developed the art of the “disappearing painting” on the fore-edge of a book.

“Imagine a flight of stairs, each step representing a leaf of the book. On the tread would be the painting and on the flat surface would be gold. A book painted and gilt in this way must be furled back before the picture can be seen.” (Kenneth Hobson, 1949). This is how a fore-edge painting works. When the book is closed, you do not see the image because the gilding hides the painting. But, when you fan the pages to show the painting at its best and hold them between your fingers or in a display press, the colorful picture appears as if by magic.

07_04_000176A_full.jpg

Harvest Landscape

In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, fore-edge painting reached its height in England. The famous bookbinding firm, which is always referred to with “the territorial suffix” Edwards of Halifax, was responsible for this surge of interest. Artists were employed to paint landscape scenes with country estates on the fore-edges of books, which were then handsomely bound in painted vellum covers or in exotic leather bindings.

Most fore-edge painters working for binding firms did not sign their work, which explains why it is difficult to pinpoint and date the hidden paintings. A few binders did leave their marks. Taylor & Hessey, working in the early nineteenth century, stamped their name on the edge of the binding. The binder/painter from Liverpool working at the end of the century, John Fazakerly, combined colorful decorations with gold embossing on the edges of his bindings, which in themselves are works of art and easily identifiable. In the early twentieth century, Miss C. B. Currie painted and signed her fore-edges, which are often found on bindings with painted ivory insets by Miss Currie. These are the exceptions, as most paintings are recognized only by their design. The “Dover” painter and the “Thistle” painter, for example, are twentieth century fore-edge artists whose paintings are presented unsigned. Through observation and study, we are able to learn the style of each.

07_04_000085A_full.jpg

Le Petit Triagnon

Hidden paintings hold broader interest today and include more subjects than the early landscape and architectural scenes. Some of the themes depicted on fore-edge paintings are outdoor sports, such as fox hunting and angling, and indoor sports, such as chess and billiards. Biblical tableaus, historic sea battles, views of American cities, exotic depictions of “the Orient,” and even erotic scenes are shown beneath the gold.

In the twentieth century, the single fore-edge painting was expanded to include double fore-edges, an astounding feat of craftsmanship, where two different paintings can be viewed by fanning the pages in first one direction and then the opposite. Neither painting interferes with your view of the other. Another technique is to use all three edges of the book – top, bottom, and fore-edge – to paint a continuous picture, which surrounds the book. In recent times, miniature books less three inches in height have been used as palettes to paint a fore-edge. The smallest of these are the three volumes produced in 1929, 1930, and 1932 by the Kingsport Press in Tennessee. In a fore-edge space of less than one inch, the portraits of Abraham Lincoln, Calvin Coolidge, and George Washington are painted to accompany the text related to each of the presidents.

The collection of fore-edge paintings of The Boston Public Library is outstanding; one of the finest in the country. The nucleus of 258 books was first given to the Library by Albert H Wiggin in 1951. Since that time it has been a hidden treasure of the Library. This virtual exhibition is the first time the books have been publicly viewed. These magical paintings have come to light and are now able to be shared through this exhibition to be enjoyed by everyone.

References cited:
Hanson, T.W. “Edwards of Halifax,” A Family of Book-Sellers, Collectors and Book-Binders. 1912.
Hobson, Kenneth. “On Fore-Edge Painting of Books”. In The Folio. 1949.
Weber, Carl J. Fore-Edge Painting, A Historical Survey of a Curious Art in Book Decoration. 1966.

This online collection was made possible through a generous gift from Anne and David Bromer.

http://foreedge.bpl.org/node/923

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's an article with some examples of how fore-edge paintings are revealed:

Secret Fore-Edge Paintings Revealed in Early 19th Century Books at the University of Iowa

by Christopher Jobson on September 2, 2013

autumn-new

Autumn by Robert Mudie / Special Collections & University Archives at the University of Iowa

Autumn

Autumn by Robert Mudie / Special Collections & University Archives at the University of Iowa

winter-new

Winter by Robert Mudie / Special Collections & University Archives at the University of Iowa

Winter

Winter by Robert Mudie / Special Collections & University Archives at the University of Iowa

spring-new

Spring by Robert Mudie / Special Collections & University Archives at the University of Iowa

Spring

Spring by Robert Mudie / Special Collections & University Archives at the University of Iowa

summer-new

Summer by Robert Mudie / Special Collections & University Archives at the University of Iowa

Summer

Summer by Robert Mudie / Special Collections & University Archives at the University of Iowa

A few days ago Colleen Theisen who helps with outreach and instruction at the Special Collections & University Archives at the University of Iowa shared an amazing gif she made that demonstrates something called fore-edge painting on the edge of a 1837 book called Autumn by Robert Mudie. Fore-edge painting, which is believed to date back as early as the 1650s, is a way of hiding a painting on the edge of a book so that it can only be seen when the pages are fanned out. There are even books that have double fore-edge paintings, where a different image can be seen by flipping the book over and fanning the pages in the opposite direction.

When I realized the book Theisen shared was only one of a series about the seasons, I got in touch and she agreed to photograph the other three so we could share them with you here. Above are photos of Spring,Summer, Autumn and Winter which were donated to the University of Iowa by Charlotte Smith. How much fun are these? Keep an eye on the University of Iowa’s special collections Tumblr as they unearth more artificats from the archives.

UPDATE: Because this post is getting so much attention, here are some more amazing fore-edge paintings found on YouTube.

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.thisiscolossal.com/2013/09/fore-edge-book-paintings/

 

Edited by Patrycja
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 5 months later...

To me, the concept of a political caricature that really looks to push boundaries, is virtually dead. The caricature itself, has in my opinion, become something of a lost art. Sure, you have those editorial cartoons in newspapers. But, where is the emotion? Where is the change in public mood / opinion because of that specific piece? When was the last time that a caricature/satirical cartoon in a newspaper changed your train of thought on a specific issue of the day or touched you deeply on a level that you never expected?! I honestly, do find internet memes funnier and more controversial and that really scares me sometimes! :blink: 

As brilliantly stated by War Cartoon collector Warren Bernard: 'The newspaper political cartoonist in the United States has been in decline for the last two decades. But one of the primary reasons is the risk-averse nature of editors. They don’t want to offend readers, advertisers or politicians, especially with social media ready to bring a rabble to the virtual front door of the publisher. As a result political cartoons have gone from being persuasive to simply reinforcing what one already knows and believes or, conversely, reinforcing what one despises and disagrees with. Seems they change few opinions. But great political cartoons are still being created in print and online, especially the latter'.

The Lost Art of the Caricature

plumpuddingindanger.jpg

Who hasn’t at some point found himself in a rousing debate about whether James Gillray or Thomas Nast is the father of political cartooning? Or whether David Levine or Al Hirschfeld is the preeminent American caricaturist in the postwar era? If you haven’t, you may know a woman’s caress, which I would like to ask you about.

But most of us share a ostracizing passion for the history of lithographic visual satire, and have visited the Met’s new exhibit of the acerbically grotesque, “Infinite Jest: Caricature from Leonardo to Levine.” The suggested donation to the Met is $25, but if you’re like me and are saving up for an Honoré Daumier print, you can just donate a piece of expired deli meat.

Today we have The Daily Show, Bill Maher, and terrible late night monologues, but in olden times, social and political satire often took the form of caricatures and drawings. In 19th century England, people would camp outside print shops for Gillray’s latest caricature to drop. And this is before Gore-tex knickers were invented. The best satirical prints and political cartoons of the day often came to define the objects of their gaze and affect public opinion in a way unimaginable in today’s fractured, demographically-targeted media. Did you know that Napoleon was actually of average height and that Gillray’s merciless portrayals of him helped cement the misconception that he was pint-sized? Can Jon Stewart — who probably has a healthy Napoleonic complex — make people think that ruthless French generals are shorter than they actually are? Beyond his powers I say.

boilly-thumb.jpgDespite, or because of, the historical significance of artists like Nast and Gillray, their heavy-handed visual puns can be a bit much, and some of the less politically minded work on display in the exhibit is more humorous — notably that of Louis-Léopold Boilly, who seemed to have been a significant “fine” artist as well, seeing as though his Wikipedia entry is nearly a page long (almost as long as the entry for the Teapot Dome Scandal, but shorter than CHiPs alumnus Erik Estrada). Boilly was less concerned with caricaturing political figures and more into the human face’s potential for gnarl. One of the highlights of the exhibit is Boilly’s Les Amateurs De Tableaux (The Art Connoisseurs). It portrays a bunch of bulbous-faced, ornery old dudes regarding a piece of art we can’t see. Holding up bifocals and magnifying glasses, they’re puckering their lumpy, twisted faces as if trying to conjure significance. They’re hideous and beautiful, like Dennis Rodman or a decaying pumpkin. It’s a great little barb directed at the pretense involved in the consumption of visual art — something most of the artists on display here had little use for.

Indeed, the show is dominated by artists like Daumier and Gillray, political pranksters who sought to direct the public towards the flabby corruption of power. Gillray’s famous depiction of Napoleon literally carving up the world, The Plum Pudding in Danger, is an obvious pun, but back then it probably had people in fits: “Look! It’s as if to him, the world is a strange British Christmas dessert to be carved up! And he is mighty hungry it seems!” I can see myself getting caught up in that if I lived in a world where invasions even happened to countries with internet. Daumier’s similarly relentless lampooning of the French king Louis Philippe, evinced in various caricatures where the “Citizen King” resembled a pear, got the artist thrown in the clink. I’m imagining a great conversation with his cellmate: “What are you in for?” “Oh, you know, monarchal caricature.”

davidlevinewoodyallen.jpgDavid Levine and Al Hirschfeld, both represented here, if cursorily, are the contemporary American masters of caricature as we have come to know the form. Whereas Daumier and Gillray, along with their American successor Thomas Nast, rallied public opinion, these artists mostly drew authors and Broadway casts in the pages of bourgeois magazines. Levine did give the world some fantastic politically caustic drawings, though, including a great one of an ursine Henry Kissinger boning a globe-headed woman while covered in an American flag. But usually Levine’s humor embodied more of a modern irony than the bluntly contentious European caricaturists of the 19th century. One of his drawings of Woody Allen brings out a coy sadness by imagining him as a sort of hipsterized willow tree. Levine drew LBJ’s nose like a protuberant seaplane pontoon and Spiro Agnew’s neck, clearly a continual muse, often looked like a sort of built-in balaclava. Although Levine did publish a drawing of Putin in a king’s robe and somehow did not end up on a Siberian chain gang, he didn’t exactly humiliate any despotic leaders. Still, he did provide the choir with galvanizing visual aid as they were preached to in the pages of the New Yorker and the New York Review of Books.

It’s too bad the caricature is now relegated to Bar Mitzvah novelty and the political cartoon about as culturally relevant as, say, the caricature. There are plenty of public figures who are calling out to be frozen in the grotesque, drawn with literally enormous heads, and skewered via pears, plums, or whatever seemingly benign fruit can become a tool of destruction in the hands of a visual satirist.

Jake Tuck writes screenplays and other things. He is known to be a man for all seasons.

Source 1: http://splitsider.com/2011/11/the-lost-art-of-the-caricature/

Source 2: http://www.historynet.com/war-cartoon-collector-warren-bernard.htm

Link to comment
Share on other sites

DAVID LOW: TAKING AN EXTRA DAY TO MAKE IT LOOK EASY

 
David%20Low%20blog%20%20top%20off.jpg

Perhaps the best political cartoonist to emerge from the smoking cauldron of World War II was David Low. 
 
David+Low+from+Life+mag007.jpg

The power of his simple, clear drawings took him halfway around the world and protected him from many forms of censorship.

David%20Low%20blog%20005.jpg

Low was born in a small town in New Zealand in 1891. He learned to draw from studying the pictures in old magazines in the back of a second hand bookshop. The popular style when Low was growing up was fancy, elaborate linework the way Charles Dana Gibson, Charles Keene and Norman Lindsay drew. Low wanted a simpler, cleaner look. His goal was to combine "quality with apparent facility."

David%20Low%20blog%20002.jpg

Low's direct, powerful style stood out from other editorial art of the day and brought him to the attention of local New Zealand publications, which then brought him offers of employment from Australia, and later from England where the richest and most powerful newspapers bid fiercely for his services. From this forum, Low waged a brilliant graphic assault on the Nazis.

Low's art was not as simple as it looked. He later wrote, "making a cartoon occupied usually about three days: two spent in labour and one in removing the appearance of labour." You can see Low's hard work below the surface in the beautiful body language and facial expreessions of Stalin and Mussolini singing above, or in the salutations of Hitler and Stalin below. Note the tilt of the heads and the angles of the bodies. These are wonderfully choreographed drawings with simple, powerful darks and whites.


David%20Low%20blog%20001.jpg

By studying the originals up close (see next image) you can see just how blunt and uncluttered Low's brushwork was. He worked large-- a typical cartoon would be 14 x 17.

David%20Low%20blog%20012.jpg

I love Low's no-frills drawing. Its honesty and toughness stood up to many a powerful enemy. Low was an ardent socialist but he was so good that the staunchly conservative Lord Beaverbrook begged Low to come work for Beaverbrook's newspaper, The Evening Standard. Beaverbrook promised to double Low's salary and give him complete artistic freedom. Beaverbook later grumbled that Low was trying to comandeer the whole paper's editorial policy, but he never dared to censor Low's voice.

David%20Low%20blog%20003.jpg

Hitler was enraged by Low's scathing drawings, and the Nazi government formally requested that the British government "bring influence to bear" to stop Low. However, nothing was done. After World War II, objections came from the opposite side of the fence: Winston Churchill claimed that a cartoon about the situation in Greece should be blocked "in the interests of western democracy."

David%20Low%20blog%20006.jpg


David%20Low%20blog%20004.jpg

Once upon a time, the ability to draw with strong, clear lines and a sharp eye could take you from a small town in New Zealand to the center of the world stage in London where powerful publishers and world leaders would rail against you, to no avail. Low was ultimately protected by the beauty and directness of his work. 

David%20Low%20blog%20007.jpg

 

Source: http://illustrationart.blogspot.in/2006/04/david-low-taking-extra-day-to-make-it.html

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I guess there are at least a few of you out there (apart from myself) in these forums and beyond, who are history buffs and who enjoy political satire and caricatures. 

I had the amazing opportunity (what I believe is a once in a lifetime opportunity), to attend an exhibition at a local Cartoon Gallery, that featured the works of one of the greatest political cartoonists of all time, Sir David Low. There were over 70 caricatures on display at that exhibition. I can say that all of them caught my eye for a variety of reasons. Some made me laugh. Some made me pensive. Some actually made me thank my lucky stars that I was not a common citizen, living in those turbulent times! :wacko: Every caricature had a story to tell. 

I know that most of Low's caricatures are available on the net for viewing, but IMO, nothing beats the fun of feasting one's eyes on his works in person and trying to make sense of it all, by connecting specific historical events / moods of a bygone era with a specific caricature! You just had to BE THERE to experience it! It was not just viewing a bunch of cartoons. It was an experience!

The curator of the gallery was very nice and allowed me to go absolutely mad with my camera! :lol: 

I was really astounded to notice that the gallery was quite empty on a Saturday evening. There were just two other people there, interested in these caricatures! 

Here are just some of the caricatures that caught my eye, for your viewing pleasure! :) 

10_zpsd0rmdvxw.jpg

 

8_zpsesqzbyt0.jpg

 

9_zpsuqv5envb.jpg

Edited by Kiwi_Zep_Fan87
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 1/25/2016 at 5:31 AM, Kiwi_Zep_Fan87 said:

Beautiful photo there, red! I'm so glad to know that you have started taking up photography again! :D Photography is an art. It takes so much skill to capture an image like the one you posted! :notworthy: Digital photography (especially selfies) are overrated! :lol: 

I know this is a very late reply, but thank you, Kiwi.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 years later...
On 7/28/2016 at 12:30 PM, redrum said:
  • Some great stuff on this thread.

Yep, and I just bumped this tread to hopefully save it from the "archived" never return pit of hell.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, kipper said:

Yep, and I just bumped this tread to hopefully save it from the "archived" never return pit of hell.

👍

Here's one:

Hollywood: The Lost Art Of Making Movies

Stanley Kubrick, cinephile | BFI

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 7/21/2021 at 9:48 PM, kipper said:

Here is another lost art:

 

spacer.png

I does it every day in my Ranger. Got my license driving a '63 Chevy pickup with a 3 speed. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

23 hours ago, redrum said:

I does it every day in my Ranger. Got my license driving a '63 Chevy pickup with a 3 speed. 

Thought this was funny

 

spacer.png

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
On 8/1/2021 at 10:31 AM, redrum said:

So beautiful. Fortunately, it's not a lost art. 

Scrimshaw Artists and Collectors Fear Unintended Impact of Proposed Ivory  Ban | CAI

Those are fantastic. I could only imagine the hard life of an 19th century sailor. The only choices for recreation are rubbing one out, buggering a cabin boy, or scrimshaw. I bet life as a cabin boy was the worse unless you were Andy Dick in a previous life.

Edited by BobDobbs
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...