I love old educational materials. Generally, the stuff I'm able to find easily is from the 20th century. Once, I came upon a fantastic item from the 1800's: a papier-mâché torso which looked like a classical Greek sculpture, until it was opened to reveal the inner network of muscle and organs. Instead of the garish yellow, blue and brown colors typically seen in today's museums and high school classrooms, the torso had a realistic, natural palette. *SIGH* it's the 'one that got away.' The French doctor Louis Thomas Jerôme Auzoux (1797 – 1870) made a unique contribution to the field of medicine by manufacturing papier-mâché anatomical models with detachable parts. His company also produced models for biology and botany.
A delightful new pop-up book, Popville, by Anouck Boisrobert and Louis Rigaud, displays progress and development with kaleidoscopic energy and enthusiasm. The story reminds me of Virginia Lee Burton's The Little House; there's an underlying wistfulness for the return to simpler times.
The Blue Note label is one of the most important and influential for jazz recordings. I love the distinct look of their album covers; striking typography, a pared down palette and alluring photography are the essence of cool.
Alex Schomberg created over 500 covers during the Golden Age of comics (1938-1949). His distinctive art, use of color and dynamic composition secure his place among the top comic artists; any original drawings are highly prized by collectors and sell for staggering prices.
The pioneers of comics invented the genre. Surprisingly, they were mostly untrained and incredibly young (some were still teenagers). With the exception of employing the occasional model, they spent long hours drawing and inking their art by hand, imagining the frontiers of outer space, the front line of war or the uninhabited jungle. Before there were photos of space, or handy computer programs to finesse the movement of a figure, or any reference materials about caped heroes, they generated dramatic stories and dazzling characters fueled by pure exuberance and unbridled imagination.