Monday, 28 January 2019

American magazine stands of the '20s and '30s must have been a riot of wit, vulgarity, elegance, taste, energy and colour


  1. Shades of Delaunay and Kandinsky plus a few others.
    And not at all lurid - that all came later with an avalanche of post war mags to be gawked at by small boys in places like Plus Books and The Popular Book Centre.

  2. Not just the magazine stands. Mail order catalogues were riotous, too, in their way.

    I bet the illustrators of the Judge/Wrong Number and the Argosy/Taming Fierce Elton covers above were at least influenced by contemporaneous mail order catalogue styles if not actually working for both mediums, mail order and magazine.

    (I had to look into the history of mail order once because that's the business that gave rise to the credit rating industry.)

    Is that Norman Rockwell on the Literary Digest cover above or just someone with a similar name, style and choice of subjects? Funk and Wagnall's. One of the horses in your stable in the old days ...

    Bloody old Sartre's choice of the exemplar existential act was being caught looking through the keyhole. Someone sees you doing it, there's no escape, your sheer guilty lumpen physical material existence is a brute fact unalterable by any flights of theory. How was he in a position to know? Who knew that he read Life magazine in April 1921?

  3. And..the posters of Toulouse Lautrec clearly didn't go unnoticed by the artistic directors of these mags.
    In fact there are so many influences from just about everywhere, it makes one wonder if there's anything new under the sun, delightful as they are.
    So what's next Mr.Gronmark - how about those fifties American periodicals often unfairly described as pulp?

    1. What's next you ask?

      The blogmeister has already done album sleeves, book covers, magazine covers and, arguably, mail order catalogues.

      I'll tell you what's next. Posters? No. Tea towels. Take it from me.