Thursday, March 23, 2017
Tuesday, March 21, 2017
I don't need to rehearse here the history of The Gang Show, a huge phenomenon within the Scouting movement around the world in which Scouts and Guides at various levels from local to national produce Scout based variety shows. The national shows in the UK were organised by Ralph Reader who remained associated with the shows for decades after their inception in the 1930s. The songs for the shows were written and composed by Reader and these quarto booklets contain the piano scores for the songs. These copies are from the 1950s and 60s and I thought the covers were rather good and cheerful pieces of design.
Monday, March 20, 2017
A book by Enid Blyton might seem an unlikely fit with this blog, but Tales of Long Ago "retold" by Enid Blyton is a rather fun book which takes myths and legends which are mainly Greek but which include such things as Aladdin as well, and retells them with illustrations by Janet and Anne Johnstone, twin sisters who worked together all their lives on illustrating children's books. I find their work completely wonderful and it is often available at very cheap prices. This book in particular shows off their black and white work to great effect. There are further images of theirs as well as some biography already on Front Free Endpaper.
Monday, March 13, 2017
Another bundle of Films and Filming, the 60s and 70s magazine that looked at cinema with a decidedly homoerotic eye arrived in my study today. As ever they yield up interesting films that one has never heard of before and these three pages of the July 1975 issue highlight a film called "The Reincarnation of Peter Proud", a supernatural thriller in which the title character has recurring nightmares, including of watching himself being murdered by a woman in a boat; he is swimming naked in a lake at night and as he attempts to get back in the boat she kills him by whacking him round the head with the oar. This opening scene pans out into a search for the place where this and other things from his nightmares happens. The wiki page has a pretty good synopsis and, if you like the sound (or look) of it, despite the fairly unenthusiastic reviews, you can watch the whole thing at the moment on Youtube. A David Fincher remake was announced in 2009 but that seems quite a while ago now!
Sunday, March 12, 2017
Thursday, March 09, 2017
Philip Core was an astonishing man and artist who has featured a couple of times already on this blog, including quite a long biographical post so I am just leaving these here by way of an 'update' really. This set of four silverpoints were offered for sale at auction by Chiswick Auctions during the week titled 'Crucifixus', they have labels on the back which the auction house interprets as meaning they were exhibited at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition in 1985. This may be the case but I think the labels only indicate that they were entered for the exhibition, not that they were selected and hung.
Tuesday, March 07, 2017
Joyce Mercer (1896-1965) might be my new favourite illustrator at the moment. Here are her drawings for H. G. Wells's The Magic Shop in this 1930 edition of The Children's Play-Hour Book. Mercer studied at the Sheffield School of Art and at Chelsea School of Art and worked on books, postcards and as a cartoonist for a number of magazines. She trained herself to use both hands so that she could draw simultaneously with both and create symmetrical designs. She suffered some form of 'break' as a result of her experiences in WW1 with the WRVS in the East End of London and spent the rest of her life leading a solitary existence in Penrith in the Lake District.
It's possible to say all kinds of things about her style, which was very distinctive whilst also being utterly 'of the period', however, the two words which come most readily to my mind are 'Joy' and, in no way disparagingly, 'Camp'. There is much more of her work in this children's book alone and so this may not be the last you see of her as a regular reader of Front Free Endpaper. In the meantime her illustrations for Hans Andersen's Tales can be seen here in The Garden of Unearthly Delights.