Ideas, Trends, and Thoughts — Golden Age of Illustration

The Story of the Titanic, As Told Through Contemporary Graphics

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The Story of the Titanic, As Told Through Contemporary Graphics

Very few historical events have become so indelibly part of our collective memory as has the most famous shipwreck of all, the Titanic. Even before James Cameron's 1997 epic, the history of the Titanic has been a deeply fascinating topic for so many. As an inevitable result of this fascination, the story has been told many times over and in many different forms, but today I wanted to explore the tragedy from a different angle. Namely, what can the Titanic's rich graphic legacy tell us about the experience of those who lived through it? This article will tell that story...

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Video Review: Restoring a Faded WWI Poster

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Video Review: Restoring a Faded WWI Poster

I've discussed the topic of digital restoration many times, and I have quite a few videos showcasing how I do it, but what about non-digital restoration? What does the process look like when it is done directly on the artifact itself without the aid of low-risk intermediary technology like Photoshop? It is these questions that made the above video, featuring the restoration of a faded WWI poster by James Montgomery Flagg, so fascinating to watch, mainly because it comes from a completely different perspective than mine. Here are a few highlights from the video that I found especially intriguing: Red...

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The Vintage Art Aesthetic: What's Not to Like?

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The Vintage Art Aesthetic: What's Not to Like?

This week I have been working very hard on some major updates to the site, and although I've had help (thank God,) it's left me too drained to do a whole lot else. So this next blog entry is really all about a topic I know like the back of my own hand. Not too much of a challenge to write, but I hope reading it will be just as stimulating to you as reading the other articles I've written here so far. All I want to do here is to further explore a topic I've touched on many times....

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The Art of Life Magazine: a History, Pt. 1 (1883-1913)

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The Art of Life Magazine: a History, Pt. 1 (1883-1913)

In 1883, Harvard graduates John Ames Mitchell, Andrew Miller, and Edward S. Martin, set out to create their answer to the already-established Puck, Judge, and Punch magazines. Life was its name, and its premise was a simple one: “We shall endeavor to be neither too sweet to live," ran the mission statement on its first issue, "nor too good to be true.” It was “fun” for “an unfriendly world”. Its masthead (pictured below), which remained a part of the magazine for decades, drives that point home further by declaring "While there is Life, there's Hope." While they were still students,...

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