If a poem doesn’t get you in the mood to celebrate October 31 this year, try reading a few stories in Alfred Hitchcock’s Spellbinders in Suspense– stories of mystery and excitement. Book is copyright 1967 from Random House & the cool green illustrated endpapers are just a bonus.
This book, Bowling! was published in 2013. It doesn’t even remotely qualify as a book for this blog. Having said that, this fun, newer book is chock full of vintage advertisements like this one, above, for Coke. Having spent the better part of my writing time this afternoon, otherwise engaged, this poem will have to suffice. Won’t it?
Here’s one of my antique treasures – a book of photographs of Los Angeles in the late 1890s – pre-free-ways, pre-smog, pre-paparazzi, pre limited access to the beaches. This book is Los Angeles California Illustrated. No copyright date, with a worn cover. Who cares? Even pre-Hollywood. Los Angeles is one of my obsessions. I spent the good part of my life there. Like Randy Newman, I Love L.A.
From the book, Picasso, Fifty Years of His Art by Alfred H. Barr, Jr. Published by The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1945. A grand book full of Picasso’s works, in b/w & color, before the Mid-Century. Book is hardcover, 314 pp.
This is a well-worn biography of the late 19th Century British illustrator, Kate Greenaway. Best-known for her charming pictures of children, Greenaway was a prolific illustrator of many books, from 1871 – 1900, shortly before this book was published in 1905. Mother Gooose (1881) is one of the best-known of her books, as is Kate Greenaway’s Birthday Bookfor Children. My book pictured above is what we in the trade call “shabby chic” – at least on the exterior. Inside, the 52 colour illustrations are universally bright and winsome. Not fade away.
This 1945 non-fiction book was written by three Passaic New Jersey reporters who went oversees in WWII, reporting on the Jersey boys fighting on the battle fronts. This was the closest thing to Twitter back then – reports from the field. Not as quick, but mebbe more deeply felt. Published by The Herald-News,book is 274-pages of up-close and personal war news reporting.
This is Kahlil Gibran’s second book, published in 1919, by Alfred Knopf. The now-rare book consists of 20 Gibran drawings – all under tissue and all familiar stylistically to those of us who’ve read The Prophet. Gibran was an artist, as well as a poet. He studied in Paris under Rodin. And if you look at the figures he drew in this book, you can see Rodin’s shadow.
This is a large illustrated vintage coffee-table book – 270 pages of text in Spanish and art in b/w & color. I must say some of the old supernatural art work is pretty goth. This book was published in 1980 by Fondo de Cultur Economica, Mexico. It surveys the ancient and antique art work devoted to mythical animals in Mexico.
Warhol’s 1968 Schrafft’s video advertisement, far left
Found this really really cool 1975 video art exhibit catalog at an art collectors’ sale. It wasn’t flashy, so it immediately attracted me – it was Underground – like its subject matter. Inside, you can find the art works of many now-more famous artists, including Andy Warhol, William Wegman, Richard Serra, Rebecca Horn, Taka Iimura – Even the late great Ernie Kovacs – who were all experimenting with the medium of video-as-art. This exhibit was held from Jan 17 to Feb. 28, 1975 at the Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. This 116-page softcover catalog is as close as I can get to being there. I would have rather been in Philadelphia
Up at the top, a green page from the never-used Index book for alphabetically listing your RCA Victor records. Likely from the late 1920s or early ’30s, the book is part of a collection of RCA Victor ephemera I listed for sale – including brochures for the Victrola X (from the Victor Talking Machine Co.) and the Micro Synchronous Victor Radio (“A Radio Thatis Really a Musical Instrument”). The record in the book shown above is the Victor label recording of Enrico Caruso singing “Aida-Celeste Aida.” Not so long ago, we coveted our v-tunes