Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Fun and tragedy on Noah's ark


On my visits to Chris Mullen's incredible and huge website The visual telling of stories, self-described as 
"a lyrical encyclopedia of visual proportions", I always discover lots of interesting and beautiful vintage gems,
 from 1950s USA advertising to Edward Bawden's illustrations, to Fortune magazine covers and spreads, 
and much much more.

A recent find I have fallen in love with is The Noah's Ark Book, with verses by Margaret Lavington, 
illustrated by FISH, and published by The Bodley Head in London in 1918. I love everything about it, from 
the stylized humorous illustrations and three-color scheme, to the verses' funny and lightly blasphemous take 
on Noah's old story. I am quite sure that getting a hold of a copy of this real treasure is no small feat...

...and aren't the endpapers heavenly?

Addendum – thanks to Dutch connoisseur Arthur van Kruining for the following information:

The book was published in 1918. Fish was a popular cartoonist at the time. She had already published 
one or two of her EVE books. EVE was a comic (sort of) that ran in the TATLER about a flapper avant-la-lettre
 who wants to do everything in her power to cheer up the British soldiers fighting in the trenches. 
It has lots of Style and the same whimsicality that pervades NOAH'S ARK BOOK. 
(Which reminds me a lot of the whimsicality of Oliver Herford's earlier animal books.)

...and congratulations for being able to obtain a copy of the book! 
(you can find out how reading Arthur's comment below)

4 comments:

  1. Amazing blog, just what I love drawing -animals!

    I drew once a Noah's Ark; if you want to drop by my blog and check it, this is the address: http://juliaillustrations.wordpress.com

    Again, thanks for the blog

    ReplyDelete
  2. un blog stratosferico!!!!
    se ti piace fare un articolo su queste... ciao
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JntSpYxTck0&NR=1

    ReplyDelete
  3. Arthur van KruiningAugust 14, 2010 at 10:40 PM

    No small feat indeed... :) In the beginning of June I found a copy for sale, online, at the Rooie Rat ('Red Rat') a 'political bookstore' in my own country, of all places. (I.e. the Netherlands.)
    You can imagine my disappointment when I was told that the book couldn't be found.
    The Red Rat promised to keep looking, and every few weeks I asked if they we're still looking or whether they had given up the search. I had to give it to them: they never threw in the towel.
    But I did, and I tried to forget...
    I had succeeded when the Red Rat sent me an email. This was last week, and I thought they wanted to close the case. Unsolved.
    Surprise: the lost Ark Book was found!
    And now it's standing here, in Rotterdam, cover forward, in a show-/bookcase.
    I wanted to scan the pages missing from Mullen's sample, but I'm afraid the book will fall apart in the process.

    BTW, the book was published in 1918. Fish was a popular cartoonist at the time. She had already published one or two of her EVE books at the time. EVE was a comic (sort of) that ran in the TATLER about a flapper avant-la-lettre who wants to do everything in her power to cheer up the British soldiers fighting in the trenches. It has lots of Style and the same whimsicality that pervades NOAH'S ARK BOOK. (Which reminds me a lot of the whimsicality of Oliver Herford's earlier animal books.)

    BTW2, I really like your blog, it's one of my regular blogstops, and I share your admiration for Matticchio.

    Kind regards,
    Arthur van Kruining

    ReplyDelete

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