Exhibit Themes Promise Fascinating Browsing
Printed paper does the talking as at least half a
dozen collectors and subject experts exhibit portions of their collections
during Ephemera 25's three-day run in Old Greenwich, CT.
Wild Women (and the Men Who Loved Them) is the subject of
Kathy Alpert's exhibit. As owner of PostMark Press, Alpert is
working on a book about early 20th-century women
as seen through the postcard. For Ephemera 25,
she will exhibit a selection of images expected to be included
in a chapter with the Wild Women working title.
Included are classic early 20th-century showgirls;
the notorious showgirl Evelyn Nesbit, who was embroiled
in "The Crime of the Century" when her jealous husband Harry
Thaw shot and killed her former lover and famed architect Stanford
White; and "A Lobster Salad with French Dressing" postcard lampooning
a wayward New Yorker.
In United States Advertising Poster Stamps,
to 1939 Englishman Charles Kiddle examines the poster stamps
issued by various businesses to promote their products or services
with particular emphasis on the "Golden Age" between1910 and
1920. The exhibition, never before seen in the United States,
features the famous artists who designed the stamps and includes
Maxfield Parrish's illustration for Crane's Chocolate, considered
the "Holy Grail" of poster stamp collecting. Kiddle also pays
attention to the printers who produced poster stamps, how they
were used, and collected.
Kit Barry draws from his trade card collection
to examine the image of the artists in the late 19th century. Barry says the artist image is a widespread, recurring
theme that appears in many mutations. In picturing the artist
or the painter's pallet, this subject had a strong presence
in advertising from the 1870s through the 1890s. The popularity
of this subject suggests that the American consumer embraced
the artist, and thus fine art, as an expected part of everyday
life. Barry says the lack of the artist image theme in 20th-
century advertising suggests a separation of the general masses
from fine art.
There's magic in one of the exhibits. Robert
Olson, who baffled an audience last year with his illusions,
displays a sampling of Victorian Trade Cards focusing on the
performance of magic. Like small posters, they were used
by magicians to advertise their shows and by businesses to advertise
The exhibit compiled by long-time member Jean
Berg willbe easy to spot - look for the orange! It all began
with a simple ferry ticketthat stood out only because it was
printed on orange-coated stock. Other items,all printed on that
same orange-coated stock and dated between 1835 and 1860,followed.
A large broadside warning people away from a dwelling contaminated
byscarlet fever is displayed alongside an admission ticket to
a do-it-yourselfsurgery class - both orange. "When I started
collecting them they sold for anickel. Now they're $100 items!"
There are other exhibits being planned for the amusement
and education of Ephemera 25 attendees and they all use paper
to open windows on the past. Don't miss them.