Saturday, August 31, 2013

Meaty fun

Victorian children's toy play sets of elaborately detailed butcher shops.

Friday, August 30, 2013

You're a part of me

There's plenty of jewelry based on human anatomy available, but I think
these pieces by Michelle Davis at mdavisstudios are especially refined and elegant.

 Lumbar vertabra

 Ossicles (tiniest bones in the human body)

 Anatomical heart

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Charm, innocence and talent

Audrey Hepburn's first starring role was the runaway princess in director William Wyler's 1953 film Roman Holiday. Wyler commented, "She had everything I was looking for: charm, innocence and talent. She also was very funny..." Her performance was critically acclaimed and won the Academy Award for Best Actress.

Dear Mr. Dickinson,

The Audrey Hepburn test you made is a fine piece
of work, and I just wanted to tell you how much
we liked it here at the studio. You gave us a
good look at the girl's personality and charm,
as well as her talent. As a result of the test,
a number of the producers at Paramount have
expressed interest in casting her.

I can't say at the moment whether or not we will 
use Miss Hepburn in Roman Holiday, but if we don't
you may be sure it will not be because of anything
in the test - which is as good as any I've seen
in a long time.

With many thanks and best wishes,


William Wyler

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The lights, the night

New York at night  as captured by photographer Ted Croner

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Everything will be okay

Advice to Sink In Slowly is an ongoing project that produces posters designed by graduates passing advice and inspiration to first year students. The advice catalog can be found here.

Below, a few snappy designs that offer sound advice no matter what age or station.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Capturing Igor

The composer Igor Stravinsky posed for many portraits in his lifetime.

Jacques-Emile Blanche, 1915 

 Pablo Picasso, 1920

 Robert Delaunay, 1918

Richard Avedon, 1969

Albert Gleizes, 1914

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Mr. Men and Little Miss

While looking for Mr. Right, no doubt you'll run into Mr. Clumsy, Mr. Cool and Mr. Forgetful.
There's a Mr. Men or Little Miss that describe each of us, thanks to the lasting appeal of Roger Hargreaves library of paperback books.

celebrates Hargreaves beloved characters with a gallery exhibition of 50 artists and their versions of the Mr. Men & Little Miss universe.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

The bells are gonna chime

 Arthur Conan Doyle with wife Louise

Ernest Hemingway with wife Hadley

Audrey Hepburn with husband Mel

 Johnny Cash and June Carter

 Elvis and Priscilla Presley

Steve Jobs with wife Laura

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Through the lens

Playful trickery in photography

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Matched set

P. sent me a recent photo taken of his family at their reunion. Of course there were cranky kids, a face or two mid-smile, but your eye was mostly drawn to his parents who wore matching outfits. I don't mean they wore similar shirts and pants...they were identical. "Oh, I didn't tell you that my parents always wear matching outfits when they go on vacation?" he said. No. This sort of detail I'd remember. I guess in the world of quirks, it's harmless. But where does a happy couple shop for this stuff? What sort of conversations take place? "Last year I had to wear that floral get-up and hated it, so this year I call stars and stripes!"

It could always be worse!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Graphic painting

Collage paintings by Cecil Touchon

I've seen many, and I love them absolutely.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Machine age rack

A little machine-age design goes a long way. 

"Bullet" magazine rack by James Waring Carpenter, circa 1935

Friday, August 16, 2013

Radio Pictures

Vintage ephemera from from RKO (Radio, Keith, Orpheum) Pictures.  Fine design.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


In February 2011, a new Japanese bullet train (Shinkansen) was sent out on a two-hour test run. Word circulated that everyone was invited to show up along the route and wave. A camera was mounted to the train that would capture the event to use for a future commercial. A surprising 15,000 people showed up for the impromptu shoot, including firemen, students, Power Rangers, even a bride and groom, jubilantly waving with balloons, banners and flags.

On March 12, 2011, one day after the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami devastated Japan, the new bullet train was launched, on schedule. The planned ad spot, containing all the waving people footage was scrapped, deemed inappropriately happy in light of the massive loss of life, destruction, evacuation, and nuclear incidents. Instead, the ad was loaded onto YouTube, where it quickly went viral with millions of views. Images of excited, happy, playful, even silly people, along with the bullet train symbolizing Japan moving forward, was exactly what the recovering wanted and needed to see.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


It was only a matter of time that public opinion would alter the power that Parisian Salons held in determining who was 'in' or 'out' in the world of art. In 1863, nearly half of all submissions were promptly rejected by the official Salon. This did not sit lightly with the art community nor the public, and in a bold response, Napoleon III created Le Salon des Refusés (Exhibition of Rejects). 

Included in the 1863 exhibition were 3 paintings by Edouard Manet.

Listed as item 363. Le Bain (The Bath), Manet's largest painting of the three submitted attracted immediate attention and criticism.  Otherwise known as Le Déjeuner sur l'herbe (Luncheon on the Grass), the primary offense was the subject matter: a nude woman enjoying a picnic with two clothed men, while another scantily clad female bathes in the distance. Aside from the depiction of modern debauchery, the flat application of color, the lack of perspective, the unusual and awkward depth of field was thought to be subversive contempt for the Academic standards of the time. 

Monday, August 12, 2013

For eyes

I'm a huge fan and satisfied customer (Thatcher and Crosby frames here!) of Warby Parker.

How great is their flagship store in New York?!

Eyeglasses and books, a match made in heaven, complete with rolling ladders.

I love it!