Apr 25 2012: The Modernist Christ (Geraint Evans Sings in Llandaff Cathedral, Delyse Records, 1962)

I suppose this record sleeve, containing a 1962 recording of Welsh opera singer Geraint Evans performing in the imposing setting  of Llandaff Cathedral, might be seen to connect to yesterday’s post, in which the graphics of generic Soviet LP covers of a similar era were featured. While specifically designed for this one particular release, the … Continue reading

Apr 24 2012: A Gallery Showing Six Generic Soviet Union Paper Record Sleeve Designs (Melodija, 1960s)

These paper record sleeves, produced by various regional branches of the Soviet Union’s state record label, Melodija, were made to provide generic covers inside which pretty much any type of music might be housed, whether classical, folk, jazz, pop or Red Army choirs. In some respects, these generic sleeves are the equivalents of the 7″ … Continue reading

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 19 2012: Painting Sunsets by Violet Parkhurst (Walter T Foster Publications, 1960s)

Although it’s something of a cliche to claim the general public neither understands nor likes conceptual art, or contemporary art that doesn’t show evidence of traditional skill, seeing such work as a species of charlatanry, I’m not sure the theory stands up when it’s examined in more detail. The guide to painting sunsets seen above … Continue reading

Apr 3 2012: Accessories including Sleeping Bags, Swimwear, Slacks and Anoraks from the Bukta Campedia Catalogue (1960)

Following yesterday’s gallery of tents, mainly named after British birds and designed in a kind of unconscious anticipation of minimalist systems art of the kind circulated by Sol LeWitt, these images draw on the rest of the goods on offers in the 1960 Bukta Campedia catalogue of camping wares. The contrast in style is intriguing, … Continue reading

Mar 28 2012: Sepia-Toned Monochrome Photograph Showing A Swarm Of Bees (Date Unknown)

This undated image of bees swarming has hung around my desk for several years now, pretty much since I found it inside the pages of an old encyclopaedia sometime around 2006. What it shows is both commonplace, insofar as bees form swarms regularly: the sight of one isn’t an everyday occurance, but nor is it … Continue reading

Mar 10 2012: A View Of The Thames Looking Towards Tower Bridge Showing Bomb Sites (c.1940s)

There’s something hugely compelling about this undated photograph, which at first glance shows a very familiar view along the River Thames, looking towards Tower Bridge, but on slightly closer inspection reveals some very unfamiliar bomb-sites and gutted buildings in the foreground. The photographer is not identified, but it’s presumably an amateur snap taken from a … Continue reading

Jan 11 2012: Twenty-One Cover Illustrations from Romeo Teen Weekly (1970 – 1971)

I don’t know much about Romeo, a comic format weekly magazine published by D.C. Thompson that features a variety of love stories (basically, think Mills & Boon, but aimed very much at teenage girls), letters and problem pages, adverts, comic strips and a few bits of pop music news (these include some unlikely inclusions from … Continue reading

Dec 28 2011: Romance Book Cover Illustration by Laurence Houghton (Game, Set & Match, 1982)

I’ve had this acrylic on board painting for a good few years now, and according to some handwritten notes on the reverse it was painted by L. Houghton as a book cover illustration for Elspeth Rae’s Game, Set & Match in 1982. The artist is probably Laurence Houghton, who was a regular feature on Mills … Continue reading

A Return to Victoriana: Maggy Milner and Tracey Emin (NVA, 2011)

Brian Walden: Obviously Britain today is a very different country from the one it was in Victorian times, when there was great poverty and great wealth, but you’ve really outlined an approval of what I would call Victorian values. Now is that right? Margaret Thatcher: Oh exactly. Very much so. Those were the values when … Continue reading