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A Festival of Postcards – Signs
Welcome to the third edition of A Festival of Postcards where bloggers share their love of vintage and modern postcards. This month we have contributions from over 30 bloggers on 3 continents (Asia, Europe & North America) and from several postcard “communities” including artists, deltiologists, family historians and Postcrossers. Some have interpreted the theme literally so we have a great selection of postcards showing painted, wooden, metal and neon signs but others have worked with the idea of sign as symbol, so we have a great selection of postcards for everyone!
With so many entries this time, I’ve divided the Festival into three sections: The Artful Postcard (altered postcards, mail art and postcard design), Postcards in the Past Tense (images from the past, family & social history), and Contemporary Postcards (images from the 1990s on including family & social history and Postcrossing).
The topic for this month’s featured article was inspired by Vickie Everhart’s June Festival entry Main Street in Rockdale. She inspired me to take another look at many of my favourite blogs and I was struck by how many artists and family historians are experimenting with scrapbooking techniques as a way to present their family history, so the feature article for this Festival is by mixed-media artist Mandy Collins.
In her article Altered Art-Mail or Postal Art, blogger Mandy Collins (aka Pearl Maple) provides an introduction to altered art, shows us the steps she followed in her postcard project, and closes with a bevy of useful links to other postal and mail art sites. We’re very lucky to have this article from Mandy because she’s a very busy professional mixed-media artist. You can see an example of her work online at Featured Artist Of The Week at Paperclippings and she has also been published in Somerset Memories and most recently in The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Altered Art by Allyson Bright Meyer.
The Artful Postcard
Kevin Kidney is a “self-employed art director, illustrator, writer, sculptor and maker of things” who has worked as a Disney designer. I asked his permission to link to this Old Lamplighter article because Kevin’s post displays and discusses some of the artwork related to the production of a Disney postcard. If you’re interested in the art behind Disney postcards, type “postcards” into Kevin’s Search Box and you’ll find two more articles of interest (“Chicken of the Sea Tuna Pirate Ship Restaurant” and “In Amazing Realtistic Presence”).
For the July 2009 issue of A Festival of Postcards – SIGNS – I’ve decided to share something relatively modern from my collection “Postcards of St. Catherine St. in Montreal”.
I specialize in early twentieth century b/w vintage postcards, but since Montreal has been my family’s hometown for the last fifty years, I do sometimes collect more modern postcards. Today I’m showing a Colourpicture Publishers plastichrome postcard and instead of sharing an anecdote from my family history, I’m going to show you some of the clues I used to date the card.
Dating the postcard
One thing I appreciate about signs on a postcard is that they provide invaluable clues to the age of the postcard – or at least the age of the image on which the postcard was based. The clues are in the materials used (e.g.wood, metal, plastic) as well as the style and the actual symbols or text on the signs
Movie Marquee at the Palace
I always like to see a marquee on a postcard because it gives me the first bracket for the date range. In this case, the Palace was showing the movie Lydia Bailey starring Anne Francis, and that tells me that the postcard doesn’t predate 1952.
Lydia Bailey was based on the book by the same name which was authored by Kenneth Roberts. You can find out more about this from Danny McDonald blog (Kennethlroberts) in his post A Blast from the Past: NY Times Review of “Lydia Bailey” the Movie.