24.11.11

Vintage Thanksgiving Greeting Card, c.1870


From Centrasian's wonderful Flickr!
http://www.flickr.com/photos/centralasian/

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12.10.11

Hobo Glyphs



























With special thanks to my gifted graduate student Servet Ulaş who came across this extraordinary pictogram language, about which you can read more at these links:
http://desertphile.org/hobo/hobo.htm
http://preparedcitizenwsg.blogspot.com/2011/03/hobo-markings-language-of-survival.html
http://weburbanist.com/2010/06/03/hoboglyphs-secret-transient-symbols-modern-nomad-codes/

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3.8.11

A children's primer from 1731

Fables and other short poems: collected from the most celebrated English authors: the whole curiously engrav’d for the practice & amusement of young gentlemen & ladies in the art of writing. This is the full title of a children’s primer by John Bickham which was published in 1731. The whole book can be viewed here at the Internet Archive.



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22.6.11

The calligraphic posters of Mohammad Jamshidi




http://www.vitrinrooz.com/pages/archive.aspx?num=2&sah
http://www.adicaa.org/designers_detail.asp?id=16
Utterly stunning!

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30.5.11

The enigmatic canons of Juan del Vado


A page from a musical score book of enigmatic canons by composer Juan del Vado (1626 - 1691), completed between 1677 and 1679 and given as a gift to Juan José de Austria, the brother of Charles II, for usage in his royal chapel.


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27.5.11

Denis Diderot: Encyclopédie, ou dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers



Published over the course of more than twenty years (1751-1777), the 32 volumes of the Encyclopédie include 21 volumes of text with more than 70,000 articles on subjects ranging from asparagus to the zodiac. The remaining 11 volumes contain beautifully engraved plates illustrating many of the articles. The Encyclopédie was the major achievement of the French Enlightenment whose aim, in Diderot's words, was to "change the common way of thinking" through the expansion of knowledge and the development of critical modes of thought.

Read more, and also see all the engravings at:
http://quod.lib.umich.edu/d/did/

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14.5.11

Le sphere de monde: proprement dicte Cosmographie



Oronce Fine's "Le sphere de monde: proprement dicte Cosmographie: manuscript", 1549. Houghton Library, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.
http://pds.lib.harvard.edu/pds/view/18260773

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10.5.11

African marionettes




http://www.randafricanart.com/Bamana_marionettes.html

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Typografische monatsblätter, issue June-July 1968




See a collection of spreads from the typographic journal, complied from various issues of the year 1968, on Sébastien Hayez's Flickr stream here >>>

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8.5.11

Carl Jung's Red Book

When Carl Jung embarked on the extended self-exploration he called his 'confrontation with the unconscious', the heart of it was "The Red Book", a large, illuminated volume he created between 1914 and 1930. Here he developed his principal theories - of the archetypes, the collective unconscious and the process of individuation - that transformed psychotherapy from a practice concerned with treatment of the sick into a means for higher development of the personality. While Jung considered "The Red Book" to be his most important work, only a handful of people have ever seen it. Now, in a complete facsimile and translation, it is available to scholars and the general public, also through amazon.

An image showing 6 double pages from the book can also be seen as part of an article on Jung at the New York Times website here >>>



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1.5.11

Kris Kuksi




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29.4.11

Baroque Violin Pattern


Violin pattern attributed to a Cremonese workshop, 17th century.
http://orgs.usd.edu/nmm/Violins/ViolinPattern/ViolinPattern.html

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26.4.11

de Motv Animalivm



Giovanni Alfonso Borelli, 1608-1679
From the Iowa Universtiy Digital Library, John Martin Rare Book Room

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23.4.11

Amorum Emblemata

124 Woodcut vignettes by Otto van Veen (1556-1629) showing cupids with bow, arrows & torch, inscribed with the motto "Amor vincit omnia". The emblem is in an oval on the right-hand page, with text facing it on the left-hand page.





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22.4.11

Vintage dressmaking patterns































A huge collection of sewing patterns starting from the early 20th century. These can actually be purchased as patterns and used for dressmaking purposes today!
http://www.sovintagepatterns.com/vintagepatterns.html

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21.4.11

Die Neue Graphik

Re-blogged from Designers Books




Markus Kutter & Karl Gerstner
Designed by Karl Gerstner

Arthur Niggli Ltd., Teufen, 1959
Blocks by Schwitter AG, Basle
Printed by R. Weber ag, Heiden
Bound by Max Grollimund, Basel
23 x 23 cm

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17.4.11

Aleister Crowley's Thoth Tarot

The Thoth Tarot was painted by Lady Frieda Harris according to instructions from Aleister Crowley. Crowley referred to this deck as The Book of Thoth, and also wrote a book of that title intended for use with the deck.

Crowley originally intended the Thoth deck to be a six-month project aimed at updating the traditional pictorial symbolism of the tarot. However, the project was to span five years, between 1938 and 1943, as its scope grew ever wider. Crowley and Harris were meticulous in their work, and Harris painted some of the cards as many as eight times. Early editions of the deck included two of Harris' early drafts of The Magus card, each making use of markedly different style and symbols.

The illustrations of the Thoth deck are rich in symbolism, based upon Crowley's desire to incorporate symbols from many disparate disciplines, including science and philosophy, as well as to draw on his extensive knowledge of various occult system (as described in detail in his Book of Thoth). For example, The Hanged Man and The Moon draw from Egyptian mythology, and the Princess of Disks holds a disk bearing the Taijitu. The pip cards in the four suits (Wands, Cups, Swords, and Disks) depict their objects in carefully crafted positions; for example, the Four of Swords (which Crowley named "truce") shows four swords with their points toward the center of an imaginary square, suggesting a possibly tense peace. The card illustrations are uniformly stark and vividly illustrated throughout.




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16.4.11

Zoomorphic Islamic Calligraphy

The calligraphic art of Hassan Musa from Sudan, re-blogged from Biblio-Odyssey.



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14.4.11

The Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Mythology

Many thanks to HVC website reader Ms. Erin Jones, who sent me this brilliant resource:

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Historic Chinese Cats


Shen Zou, Ming Dynasty, "Sketches from life"


Emperor Xuangdong, Ming Dynasty, "Cats below flowers"


Anonymous, Song Dynasty, "Cats playing"


Anonymous, Song Dynasty.

Many many thanks to the amazing blog Poemas del río Wang for having compiled a huge collection of Chinese cat paintings, both historic and contemporary, from where I found the ones above:
http://riowang.blogspot.com/2010/05/chinese-cats.html

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Ernst Haeckel: Kunstformen der Natur




The full book can be viewed and downloaded as a pdf from here:
http://caliban.mpiz-koeln.mpg.de/haeckel/kunstformen/index.html

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12.4.11

Johann Bayer's "Uranometria"




http://www.lindahall.org/services/digital/ebooks/bayer/

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11.4.11

Bioshock

BioShock is a first-person shooter game developed by Irrational Games and designed by Ken Levine. Set in an alternate history 1960, the game places the player in the role of a plane crash survivor named Jack, who must explore the underwater city of Rapture, and survive attacks by the mutated beings and mechanical drones that populate it. The game incorporates elements found in role-playing and survival games, and is described by the developers and Levine as a "spiritual successor" to their previous titles in the System Shock series. The game received overwhelmingly positive reviews, which praised its "morality-based" storyline, immersive environment and Ayn Rand-inspired dystopian back-story.

BioShock has received praise for its artistic style and compelling storytelling. In their book, Digital Culture: Understanding New Media, Glen Creeber and Royston Martin perform a case study of BioShock as a critical analysis of video games as an artistic medium. They praised the game for its visuals, sound, and ability to engage the player into the story. They viewed BioShock as a sign of the "coming of age" of video games as an artistic medium.

In February 2011 the Smithsonian Institution announced it will be holding an exhibit dedicated to the art of video games. Several games were chosen initially and the public can vote for which games they feel deserve to be displayed via a poll on the exhibit's website . BioShock is considered a front runner to be displayed because of its status as a game that demonstrated how artistic the medium can be.

The following screenshots are linked from a thoughtful post on Bioshock, which can be read here >>>.




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9.4.11

Shakespeare, the typographer

http://www.archive.org/details/shaksperetypogra00bladrich

Authored by William Blades (1824-1890) and printed by the Winthrop Press, New York in 1897; the full book can be found at archive.org, at the link above.


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8.4.11

Interior with a woman at her toilet (Anonymous, Chinese School, 19th Century)

Yet another treasure from Centralasian's Flickr:



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