Apr 22 2012: Four Hand-Painted Maps Of Socialist Czechoslovakia With Folklore Motifs (CSSR, 1957)

Appearing as endpapers in a 1957 pictorial publication showing early Communist Czechoslovakia these four maps offer a striking contrast – in tone and style, at least – to the photographs making up most of the book. The principle appears to be that the main map (seen above) is then separated into its component parts in … Continue reading

Apr 21 2012: Twenty-Nine Monochrome Photographs from a Souvenir Volume Documenting Socialist Czechoslovakia (CSSR, c.1957)

From the same 1957 publication as yesterday’s gallery of colour images, these monochrome plates show life in the then relatively new Communist state of Czechoslovakia as idealised and in the service of State propaganda, as though addressing the outside world from the Ministries of a kind of earthly paradise. Yet as with yesterday’s colour photographs’ … Continue reading

Apr 20 2012: Fifteen Colour Photographs from a Souvenir Volume Documenting Socialist Czechoslovakia (CSSR, c.1957)

A girl releases a dove in the name of ‘joy and beauty’. Clean, new buildings rise in historic cities. Athletes and dancers perform mass synchronised routines on a sports field. Gleaming motorcycles promote the latest in industrial design while the steelworks and plants that enabled their construction are dynamically photographed, the camera granting factories and … Continue reading

Mar 15 2012: Thirty Colour Photographs Of Brazil, Grenada, Martinique and Uruguay from National Geographic (1948)

After yesterday’s views of the British Isles from the perspective of post-war America, here’s a further selection of images from a few 1948 issues of National Geographic magazine, this time showing people and scenes from Brazil, Uruguay, Martinique and Grenada (the latter, of course, famously invaded by the US in 1983, though at the time of … Continue reading

Feb 17 2012: Sixteen Plates from a Stalinist Cookbook [‘Jak se Vaří v SSSR’] (Prague, 1954)

These images are taken from Jak se vaří v SSSR (Cooking in the USSR), a cookbook published in Prague, but with self-declared origins in the Soviet Union, during 1954. With an epigraph from Joseph Stalin and plates that imply luxurious plenty, it’s clearly as much an exercise in propaganda as an actual cookery manual, though … Continue reading

Feb 14 2012: Illustrations by Gisela Gottschlich from Die Schonsten Grimms Marchen (Germany, 1960s)

It’s no surprise these days to find monographs on the work of nineteenth and early twentieth century illustrators like John Tenniel, Beatrix Potter, Gustave Dore and Edmund Dulac, but for later practioners the process of recognition seems slow. A case in point might be the book represented here, on which the name of the illustrator is … Continue reading

Feb 8 2012: A Gallery of Thirty-Six Architectural Photographs Covering a Range of Styles (2006 – 2011)

There’s no real thread connecting these thirty-six colour photographs other than the fact that they all come from folders on my computer, where they’ve been sitting since they were taken, and the fact that each depicts a building or quasi architectural structure of some kind that has caught my eye and seemed worth documenting for … Continue reading

Dec 17 2011: Winter Trees and Other Landscapes by Louise Winks (Poster Paints and Pencil on Paper, 1970s)

A suitably wintry scene is one of several landscapes in a folder of artwork by a 1970s schoolgirl I found recently: tomorrow will see the many drawings of female figures and male hearthrobs of the day, but here we gather the various landscapes: true, only the winter trees above and perhaps the Biblical illustration in … Continue reading

Dec 7 2011: Four Photographs of Czech and Slovak Modernist Structures by Karel Plicka (c.1950s)

A few loose pages from a damaged copy of a photobook by Karel Plicka, taken all over the (then) Socialist State of Czechoslovakia (C.S.S.R.) showing some very impressive modernist buildings, ranging from the futuristic brutalist pods of the Slovak Monument above to the more conventional 1930s International Style flats and apartments below. Like many other … Continue reading

July 31 2011: Tisíc tváří lásky by Marie Rottrová and Flamingo (Supraphon, 1971)

25 Or 6 To 4 is a late sixties recording by Chicago, a band who later became a behemoth of MOR rock, but early on, at least, betrayed their origins in the West Coast psychedelic scene of the late 1960s. It’s of interest here because a recent arrival in the post was a 1971 Czech … Continue reading