Interiors >> Vintage Suitcases, Art

I posted this a while ago but just came back across it and still love it.  Shot by The Selby, the apartment of the couple behind Obedient Sons & Daughters.

Touchable Sound

Just in time to feed my recent obsession with album covers, this book featuring the best 7-inch covers just hit shelves.  With over 300 covers, I think this could entertain me for a while!

In related news, Rolling Stone published a list of the top 25 record stores in the US– check it out here.
[Past posts on album covers here and here]

LustList >> Vintage Blue Note Records

More Blue Note album covers, for the most part art directed by Reid Miles, photos on 1, 2, and 5 by Francis Wolff.


 This is awesome.  Just discovered a sister blog to Letters of Note (check it out if you don’t know it– it publishes scans of original historically significant letters) called Letterheady, which publishes the letterhead of famous figures and companies.  Could browse their archives for… a while.

(Stephen King)

Trophies + Maps

Old books, old trophies, and maps.  Love it.

Image from Roberta Grove on etsy.
Via Parcel Post

LustList >> “Lists”

I am dying to get a look at manuscript archivist Liza Kirwin’s new book Lists.  The book collects various lists of famous artists, from to-dos to address books, with the premise that such lists both augment an artist’s personal history and add insight to bits of history that were happening at the time.
(Can’t make out much of Kline’s tab, but the one at top looks like possibly a Chateauneuf du Pape?)
The book includes ephemera like Picasso’s list of his favorite artists at the first Armory show in 1913, most of whom went on to dominate the art scene in the coming years, proving that he not only had personal talent, but also an eye for quality in others’ work.  (Also interesting that he left off Braque, his contemporary in the Cubist movement… I am personally gratified by this because I never liked Braque’s work haha.)
(Pretty awesome cover, no?? I love the retro illustration and the mix of typography!)
Another “list” is Alexander Calder’s address book, which reads like a summary of the “who’s-who” of avant-garde Paris in the early 1900s. Other lists are more personal, like Janice Lowry’s list of “50 people I need to forgive” and Eero Saarinen’s list of reasons he loves his soon-to-be second wife.  
 Little seemingly insignificant lists, in retrospect, can actually take on major significance as snapshots into the making of a decision, the evidence of priorities, etc.  As a compulsive list-maker myself (I literally have lists for everything– running lists of gifts to give people, equipment I want for the kitchen, etc.), I am totally intrigued by the chance to look at other peoples’ lists, espcially hand-written ones!
Available here from Princeton Architectural Press.
Via The Morning News.
PS — Speaking of lists, if you’re looking for something to make, here’s what’s on my list of things to cook this week: Grapefruit, Celery, and Parmesan Salad, Cilantro-Marinated Grilled Tofu and Soba Noodles, Grilled Guacamole, and Double Chocolate Layer Cake.

Old Paper

I’m a sucker for old paper things, like airmail envelopes and tickets… they have that effect I’ve mentioned before of making me long for an era I never actually lived through.  They also make me wish the design of small, everyday things like this were still given such attention.
It’s the same way I feel about public buildings, like post offices and public schools– they used to be built so beautifully, and were architectural icons in town, and now they’re just built to be functional and cheap.

via Paper is Lovely

Well Said >> Thank You Note

Best thank you note ever.

Soy Cuba – “I am Cuba” – 1964

I just discovered the film Soy Cuba, from 1964…  I’m sure any film buff already knows of it, but for me it was such a treasure to find!
The film has a really interesting history.  It was filmed in 1964, after the Cuban Revolution, and the resulting US isolation, when Cuban filmmakers had starting reaching out to Soviet companies to help them produce their films.  It was directed by a Georgian, Mikhail Kalatozov, and attempts to show Cuba at the time from four different perspectives– luxury, poverty, vagrancy, and revolution. 

At the time of its release, it was rejected both by Cubans and Soviets, for different reasons, and went unknown outside of those countries.  It wasn’t until 1995, when a Cuban co-director of the Telluride had it screened, that it was re-discovered. 
It then garnered the interest of both Martin Scorcese and Francis Ford Coppola, who both realized its incredible cinematographic merit and decided to lend their names to its re-release.  Beyond its plot (which is not its strong suit or even its main focus), and its propagandistic nature, its hard to deny the amazing visual qualities of the film, which have influenced many famous American movies.

(Most directly, the scene above, which goes from a rooftop beauty pageant down to a hotel pool and then underwater in the pool, was used in Boogie Nights, but many other films have borrowed more loosely from Soy Cuba.)

One of the main things the film is noted for is the use of long tracking shots– which were done with a handheld camera.  In the clips at above, the camera goes up or down entire stories of buildings simply by being handed off from one crew member to another– no cranes or anything mechanical involved to create these incredibly long takes.  Pretty amazing.
In the shot above, which follows a funeral procession, the camera goes up four stories and then in through the window of a cigar factory and back out again.  The effect of leaving behind the coffin as the focal point and smoothly transitioning into a setting so iconically Cuban is pretty awesome.  Unfortunately the only clip of it I found doesn’t have the original music, but it’s still pretty amazing visually.

(The scene above isn’t that noteworthy, I just really loved the song, and the panning of all the women at the bar.  The second half, with the Russian overdubbing, gets really weird though.)

I was so spellbound by the visuals in this incredible (even if totally biased and/or cliche) look at Cuba, from the very first moments of the clip at top, that I just had to share… check them out when you have a minute to soak it up.  I feel like I just time-traveled back to 1960s Cuba.

Buy the re-release of Soy Cuba / I am Cuba here.

Monogram Collections

Did you know that people in the early 1900s used to collect monograms??  I didn’t, and I think it’s so cool! 
Elizabeth Hildreth II, 1914 
Below is the description of this monogram scrapbook page, by Scrapbook: An American History author Jessica Helfand.  I’m still not sure though what these monograms were pulled from– are the cut from stationery?  Or are the sewn?
Elizabeth Hildreth’s book begins with a blurry snapshot of a kewpie doll surrounded by a whirling constellation of monograms, which were themselves highly collectable by both men and women during this period. (The English writer Evelyn Waugh had several such scrapbooks, which may have been compiled by someone other than he: they are meticulous, fastidiously — and densely — arranged on the page.) 
Indeed, while many collectors pasted their specimens into an alphabetical taxonomy, young Hildreth operated under no such apparent editorial constraints. Like many young people, her interest seems to have been based on creating pleasing compositions. Nevertheless, her pages display none of the polite placements that so consistently characterize many other nineteenth century scrapbooks. Collaged elements in Hildreth’s book are more playful, and include fragments of letterheads and other typographic miscellany. 
I’m also intrigued by this girl because her name is Elizabeth Hildreth II — “the second” — a girl with a generational suffix.  That’s cool.  Girls don’t usually get to take part in that tradition.  But, it’s also intriguing that she’s not “Elizabeth Hildreth Jr.” — she’s “II.”  But that’s cool with me.

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