Art of the Japanese Postcard from Anna

Notes on the reading: The first 2 pages are a general essay from the exhibition catalog. The next part, “Advertising” is a topic essay in the same book that delves further into the combination of photographs and other forms of representation. Interesting to note in this article: the interplay of text, time, and image in an object that is both intended for commerce (advertising) but also for intimate relationships (personal correspondence). There are copious contrasts in these little cards that I find fascinating: modern/tradition, mechanical/hand, engineered environment/nature, etc.  I have the book in my locker if you’re interested in the color reproductions of the beautiful cards.

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One response to “Art of the Japanese Postcard from Anna

  1. Thanks for this great article. The work is quite striking even nearly 100 years after publication. That’s certainly something to aspire to. The work of the great poster artist E. McKnight Kauffer quickly com to mind. It seems like a good bet that Kauffer interacted with work of this style while in Europe while he was a young man.

    Here’s part of his bio found on the National AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Arts) site:
    “Yet if at 22 Ted Kauffer had not been sent abroad at the behest of Professor Joseph McKnight (who was Kauffer’s mentor during his formative years and from whom he took his middle name), he might never have become a poster artist and graphic designer. If Kauffer had not set sail in 1913 for Germany and France, where he was introduced to Ludwig Hohlwein’s poster masterpieces in Munich and attended the Academie Moderne in Paris, his life would have taken a much different turn.”

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