And now, five years later, I've accumulated a great deal of artwork from the mid-century era, and I still can't get enough of it. Why? Why do I collect this stuff? Not to mention the overall appealling nature of the illustrations, but to me, the artwork exudes great design qualities that I don't normally see in today's illustrations. Maybe it's something about the deceptively simple use of lines and color, along with the brilliant execution that does it for me. Maybe it's the stylization of shapes and patterns, or the fact that these illustrations were done during a time of great opportunism and consumerism -- companies and advertisers were trying to reach as many people as possible and wanted lively artwork to do just that.
Two weeks ago, the Great Leif Peng asked me to contribute to his fantastic blog, Today's Inspiration. He started up a wonderfully new Flickr set called Ads w/ 50's Storybook Styles and decided to jump start the set by having a different person write a post about some of the artwork or artist featured in this set for each day of the week. After checking out some of the samples that he was thinking about posting, I chose to talk about the ads that were directed more towards the Housewife, mostly because the majority of my own collection consists of cookbooks, pamphlets, and various household-themed ephemera. Anyway, check out my post, Art for the Domestic Goddess. And be sure to check out the rest of the guest contributors for that week, too.
As most of you know, I collect and showcase these things on my blog because I love it. I love the artwork, that's it. Never do I collect things out of "coolness" or "hipness," nor do I post said stuff on my blog for the sake of rubbing it in your face. I post this stuff because I love the artwork and I want to share it with you all. Also, I post it because I think that there's something to be said for the quality of the work from that time. There was a certain style that emanated from the pages of magazines and cookbooks from that era that probably will never be emulated ever again. If there was some way that we, as artists, could learn from our illustrative past, then hopefully posting on blogs like Leif's and mine could be seen as inspiring.