Sunday, February 28, 2010


It was sad to see another country shaken by a catastrophic earthquake. In 1960, Chile experienced the biggest earthquake ever registered in modern times, according to an article today.

Chile may be wealthier than Haiti, but like Haiti has experienced extreme political turbulence. This postcard shows two children with pictures of Chilean president Salvador Allende and Che Guevara, the iconic figure of the Cuban revolution. But the postcard was issued in the years after the democratically elected Allende was murdered in a military coup by General Augusto Pinochet in 1973. Political opposition was eradicated. Thousands were tortured, murdered or "disappeared." The general even orchestrated the assassination of a political opponent on American soil.

You need to know all of this to understand the powerful lyric by Chilean poet Pablo Neruda on the back of this postcard:


A plebiscite in 1988 was held on whether or not to extend the Pinochet's rule for another 8 years (one report credits Pope John Paul II with convincing Pinochet to loosen his grip on the beleagured country ). This was not a political race with competing candidates, but simply a yes or no on one man. And the answer was no. The transition to democracy would begin. I happened to visit Chile that year for a work assignment, and it was a heady, exhilarating time. My favorite graffiti, not far from the capital of  Santiago: An official  mural exalted, "Vive Pinochet!" (long live Pinochet) but someone added in a large scrawl, "Pero lejos" (but far away). All credit to Spain for attempting to hold the dog Pinochet accountable for human rights violations after he left office. But the general eluded conviction to the end, and died in 2006.

All this to say: Chileans have dug out of rubble before.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Longacre Square and the Blizzard of '88

1888, that is. Found on the web--I think this is from the New York Public Library's collection of images. And yes, this is Times Square before the neon and glitz. It became Times Square (after the New York Times Building that once sat at these crossroads) in 1904.

Friday, February 26, 2010

NYC subway kiosk, 1905


A fine example of the Detroit Publishing Co.'s highly regarded photo postcards. NYC history drove a lot of my early collecting, and postcards are easy to find, and mostly affordable.
There were still a few of these subway kiosks around when I was growing up on the West Side of Manhattan in the early 1960s. One was recreated at Astor Place. The damp, dank smell of the subway always carries me back to childhood.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Cornerstones: A Paper Doll Journal #51

Deanna Williams does it again: an issue devoted to a particular kind of paper doll -- one that is "cleaning up"-- and all samples presented with wit and verve and snappy narration.

The centerfold made me smile -- laugh out loud, actually. Brenda Mattox did a great job with the "cleaning up" theme! 

$6 for a single issue, $24 for four-issue subscription. Send check to: Deanna Williams, Cornerstones, 733 De La Fuente, Monterey Park, CA 91754.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Marie Antoinette by Charles Ventura

A 1985 paper doll coloring book by Charles Ventura. This is one page from the 22-page booklet. I love the Charles Ventura "line," a distinct drawing style.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Action Comics No. 1

A very fine edition of this 1938 comic book just went for a million dollars at auction. I spent part of this evening reading the first issue of the Superman saga at this site. I love that someone took the time to scan the whole thing in, ads and other comics heros. "Chuck Dawson" and "Scoop Scanlon?!" Who knew?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Jane Withers Paper Doll



Whitman Pub., 1940.

I met Miss Withers at the 2005 Paper Doll Convention in Los Angeles. She was a frequent guest at many L.A. paper doll functions, thanks to her dear friend, Gene Maiden. A fabulous and gracious lady. You can learn about Miss Withers' career as a child star here; and read about her doll collection, which was auctioned in 2004, here.

There are several paper doll sets of Jane Withers; this set of her teen years has photographs of Miss Withers wearing these clothes--everything was drawn from her actual wardrobe.     


Saturday, February 20, 2010

Huyler's Bonbons

This  ran above the Priscilla Dean ad in the Oct. 1921 Ladies Home Journal. Love the whimsy and charm of the Gordon Conway silhouettes. Wonder if there was a fear of "impurities" in food; that would explain the ad's pitch about "your greatest protections" for a box of candy.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Maude Adams as Peter Pan


March 31, 1906. I love Peter Pan. And the fact that women have historically played him on stage. 

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Priscilla Dean Tam

The Ladies Home Journal, Oct. 1921. The Priscilla Dean Tam has a lot of the playfulness of Betsey Johnson; I think she would approve.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A green paper doll

I always loved the marginalia of these ads: little messages tucked in here and there.Great mention of the Sierra Club; Earth Day was brand new when this ad ran Oct. 3, 1971. Ah, those chunky shoes with marshmallow soles. I remember it well. Shopping for shoes at Fred Braun and Bootery. Wish I still had my Huk-a-Poo sweater from that era. Leg of mutton sleeves, with tiny buttons down the front.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Sweet Little Girl paper doll

The outfit doesn't look like it fits "Sweet Little Girl." Sept. 19, 1971. I think you can find this girl in vintage Japanese paper dolls of the 1950s.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Betsey Johnson's Alley Cat paper dolls

For Fashion Week, a few Betsey Johnson paper dolls that ran in the early 1970s. This one: Aug. 22, 1971. I believe this was in the New York Times Sunday magazine. Love the way the style evokes and updates the 1930s look. Other nice touches: old broadcloth, plaid things and fake fur noted, and the cigarette smoke spelling out the designer's name.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

A Valentine's Day costume

This fanciful costume by Marilyn Henry was created for the souvenir paper doll calendar distributed at the 2009 Paper Doll Convention. Tom Tierney created the doll. For more outfits, go here.

Valentine's Day

Designed by Rob Ryan for Roger la Borde.
Purchased at the Museum of Art and Design. The exhibit "Slash: Paper under the knife" is excellent, and can be viewed online by clicking on the museum link. It's amazing what can be done with paper. And I have never seen such large sized papercuttings in my life. A thrilling show, will continue until early April. 

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Suffragette valentine

"If words could tell of all the love within this heart of mine
I'd keep on speaking till I'd won you for my Valentine."

American women didn't get the vote until 1920.

A Valentine Paper Doll



Friday, February 12, 2010

Lincoln's Birthday


No date, but marked Motto Series No. 7. Love the bleeding hearts! And is that columbine on the other side?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A Valentine To My Husband


This is a stiff, textured cardstock and the colors pop. No date, but I would guess 1940s. Norcross. A very cute 4 X 5 inches.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Monday, February 8, 2010

Paper Doll Studio Issue 95

Yes, the issue everyone is talking about--it's a full-color issue for the first time. Miki Gross art work featured on the cover. (That link on Miki's name will take you to her blog and many paper dolls to download.)

This is the magazine to get to see what contemporary artists are doing. David Wolfe has an excellent recap of the convention, and a look at up-and-coming fashion designers. Students from New York's High School of Art and Design are guest contributors.
So much fun, so much talent! Congratulations, Jenny! Order your copy here.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Virginia Moonlight, 1920

Sheet music from the Duke Digital Archive.
Freeman, Harold B.
First Line:
"There's a little cabin where the honeysuckles twine"

Friday, February 5, 2010

Playing with Pictures


A fascinating exhibit at the Met about Victorian women and the art of collage. You can read more here. I love how the gowns flow over borders.

St. Charles Street, New Orleans, 1900



UPDATE: Thanks to everyone who commented! I've enjoyed following links back to many other fantastic postcards. Click on the Postcard Friendship Friday link to learn more: