Looking around for inspiration for our family Christmas card, which I desperately would like to evolve from the traditional “here we are in front of some natural (maritime or snowy) backdrop”, I have become quite taken–like many before me, and no doubt after–with the whimsical illustrations of Mela Koehler (1885-1960). Koehler was a conspicuous member of the Wiener Werkstätte (Vienna Workshop), an artistic collaboration for artists, artisans, designers and architects inspired by the British Arts and Crafts movement. In the first three decades of the twentieth century, the Workshop became incredibly influential due to the fact that it emphasized both the artistic and the entrepreneurial: marketing was clearly a priority and the postcards produced by its members were the primary marketing tool. Mela Koehler created about 150 postcards for the Workshop: typically fantasy fashion images which served not as advertisements for actual clothes but as inspiration for women to experiment with their own attire. Add a tree or some holly, or a muff (clearly her favorite accessory), and you have a winter/Christmas postcard, offered up just at the moment that these merry missives were taking off. Original Koehler postcards are quite valuable, but most seem to have been acquired by Leonard Lauder as part of his massive collection (commenced when he was 6 years old), which has been generously donated to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The MFA featured an exhibition of a sample of the Lauder postcards last year, and many have been digitized, fortunately for us and for posterity–because as artistic as these little cards are, they are still (or were), in essence, ephemera.
Daily Archives: December 10, 2014
Streets of Salem:
Somewhat random but still timely posts about culture, history, and the material environment, from the perspectives of academia, Salem and beyond.
Topicsadvertising American Revolution Antiques Antiques and Collectibles Architecture Art Auctions books Chestnut Street Christmas Collectibles Commemoration Commemorations Culture Decorative Arts design England ephemera Etsy Exhibitions Fashion films Flora and Fauna folklore Food and drink Frank Cousins Garden gardening Gardens Graphic Design great houses Halloween Historic Preservation holidays Home horticulture House of the Seven Gables illustration Illustrations Interior design Interiors Library of Congress Literature Local Events Local History Maine maps Massachusetts Medieval Memory museums Nathaniel Hawthorne New England Peabody Essex Museum Phillips Library Photography Popular Culture Pottery print culture printing Renaissance Salem witch trials Samuel McIntire Seasons Seventeenth Century Shopping Teaching travel Tudors urban planning weather Witch City Witchcraft Witch Trials World War I
Top Posts & Pages
- Mid-Century Maritime streetsofsalem.com/2019/06/19/mid… https://t.co/811svdn3g7 5 hours ago
- A Concord Revolutionary War soldier’s ‘long-lost’ journal is being digitized bostonglobe.com/metro/2019/06/… 1 day ago
- It's #roseweek! Here's my harvest so far. #yellowroses💛 #pinkroses🌷 #redroses🌹🌹 @ Salem, Massachusetts instagram.com/p/By2o-tIApCr/… 1 day ago
- Access all of the collections of the National Trust for Historic Preservation @SavingPlaces: collections.savingplaces.org:2443/landing.aspx 2 days ago
- #OtD the Battle of #BunkerHill: here is the British view, from Barnard's History of England, 1790. https://t.co/blOKn2EMOu 2 days ago
Blog CourtesyI always attribute the images that I use in my blog; if you are going to copy them, please do so as well.