Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sunday Safari - Blacker than the Night

1940s Vintage Cardboard Halloween Die cut Decoration, thanks to Halloween guy

Happy Halloween to everyone! (especially black cat lovers)

Arthur Rackham illustration for Grimm's Fairy Tales,
thanks to ASIFA-Hollywood animation archive

 The Black Cat movie poster, 1934, thanks to This isn't Happiness

 Jenny Dalenoord Wiplala cover, 1958, thanks to art.crazed

 The Alarm of the Black Cat cover, 1942, via She Blogged By Night

 Tomb of Ligeia movie poster via wellmedicated

 Dick Bruna cover from Bruna's great set by juliensart on flickr

 Mas Negro que la Noche movie poster, 1975, thanks to Martin Klasch

Frans Haacken illustration from Peter und der Wolf, 1958, thanks to Arthur van Kruining

 Emanuel Schongut cover, 1960s

 Pablo Amargo poster

Los gatos con Mercè, Yolanda Mosquera

Cheap Thrills

 Evil Bunny, c. 1930’s, waxed, painted buckram with cotton tie

Phyllis Galembo is an American photographer and professor
who for the past 20 years has been documenting ritual costumes,
masks and masquerades across Africa and Latin America.
From the impressive and extensive portfolio showcased on her website,
this is a small sample of a series of charming and strangely spooky 
vintage Halloween costumes ranging from the 19th century to the 1960s.
 They were part of Dressed for Thrills: Halloween and Masquerade Costumes,
an exhibition originally hosted at F.I.T. Museum, New York in 2003.

Bongo Bear, c. 1930’s / early-1940’s, cotton flannel costume, buckram mask, 
Spotlite Costume manufactured by A.S.Fishbach, NYC.

Big Bad Wolf, c. 1939, painted buckram mask, cotton shirt and pants, 
cotton-covered wire tail, manufactured by A.S. Fishbach, NYC.

Hep Cats, early 1950’s, rayon jumpsuits, plastic mask (one with bells),
manufactured by Ben Cooper. 

Red Riding Hood, c. 1941, cotton skirt with printed illustrations of Red Riding Hood story
trimmed with gold ribbon, cotton cake, manufactured by Collegeville Costumes. 

Brown Bear, c. 1940's, painted buckram mask with cotton jumpsuit, manufacturer unknown.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Polish Papers

One of the folk crafts that I love the most is decorative papercutting,
an art form which has evolved into various unique styles in different areas of the world. 
From Chinese Jan Zhi to Swiss and German Scherenschnitte, to Mexican Papel Picado,
I enjoy them all, and hope in time to feature each style on Animalarium.

Image from the beautiful Polish blog Cebrita.

Polish Wycinanki is one of the most colorful and charming papercutting traditions.
They became popular around the mid-1800's, and were used by peasants 
to decorate the whitewashed walls, furniture and wooden ceiling beams of their cottages, 
or to give as giftsThe intricate decorations are formed by multiple layers of colored paper 
which are folded, cut, torn, and sometimes embossed to create stylized patterns. 
The subjects represented are peacocks, roosters and other birds, 
as well as flowers and annual festivities. 

Styles vary by region; the most basic is the single color tradition from the Kurpie district.

The multicolor Lowicz Wycinanki developed in the more prosperous region west of Warsaw. 
These elegant, elaborately cut and arranged paper overlays were displayed tandem style 
over the windows, doorways, and walls of rural homes.  

image from Lowicz Wycinanki gallery at

Design from Kickcan and Conkers.

One of the few books about Wycinanki available on amazon. 

A contemporary Wycinanki inspired decoration by Grzegorz Wacławek
from Lou et Tom, a lovely blog about the adventures of a French family in Poland.

 Wycinanki Bird Cards at Pressbound.

A Gathering of Birds by Wycinanki artist Susan L. Throckmorton 

 Typographic Wycinanki illustration at Cebrita.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Nothern Soul

It's time to dedicate a post to two favorite Finnish folk inspired artists-designers: 
Sanna Annukka and Klaus Haapaniemi. Both work as illustrators with the award winning
 graphic design studio and agency Big ActiveYou are likely to have met them before, 
since they have been very busy creating beautiful, magical designs for prints, 
fabrics, cards and much more... 

Klaus Haapaniemi, throw  from his first signature collection

Sanna Annukka for Marimekko

Klaus Haapaniemi, plate from the Taika series for Iittala

Sanna Annukka, cd packaging for Keane's Under the Iron Sea

Klaus Haapaniemi, Rabbit limited edition letterpress print for Wilkintie

Sanna AnnukkaCall of the Cuckoo print

Klaus Haapaniemi, Oravat

Sanna Annukka, Soul Bird wooden sculpture

Klaus Haapaniemi, Peacocks from his signature collection for Cacharel

Sanna AnnukkaSunbird postcard at 1973

I love this warm and friendly Finnish folk vibe, it's just what I needed 
to put me in the Christmas spirit... now, I'm ready for some snow!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Fantastic Ms. Fox

Lev Tokmakov from Fairy Tales about Animals, 1973 
from a wonderful post on A Journey Round My Skull

K. and I. Ershov from Kolobok, thanks to Svetlana's Library things

Russian folk tales often feature animals embodying human qualities and human behaviours. 
Fox is one of these main characters together with wolf, followed by bear, rooster, rabbit, he-goat, 
she-goat, and many others. While wolf is generally portrayed as a greedy, angry and stupid male 
(in Russian wolf is volk, a masculine noun), fox is a sly, witty, calculating female (in Russian fox 
is the feminine noun lisa). As you can imagine, fox loves playing tricks on everyone
but especially on Wolf, who gets fooled and duped everytime.

V.Vakidin, The SIster Fox and the Wolf, 1938

 Yevgeny Rachev, 1954 book cover and illustration from The Fox and the Wolf

two covers by Yuri Vasnetsov, 1950s

A. Repnikov, LISA I RAK (The Fox and the Crayfish), 1938

M. Zherebchevsky from The fox and the bear, 1977, via

Two illustrations by Boris Kalaushin, discovered thanks 
to the always appreciated Kickcan & Conkers.
(you can show Deborah your love and vote for her blog here)

sorry, can't locate this one... found here

For a while I have been collecting my beloved Russian foxes as I find them, 
so I was very pleased to discover the recent post featuring 
different pictures of the same subject on Library things,
Svetlana's blog devoted to vintage Russian illustration and literature.

And she also runs HannaRivka, a wonderful little shop selling vintage children's books on Etsy!


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