Tuesday, March 20, 2012

bequeathing books

There's been a harmonic convergence of vintage books coming into my possession lately. Perhaps it's the advent of e-books, or the passing of an era, or the legacies that books can bestow that explain this phenomenon. Nobody wants to just throw away a good book.

Here are some old books that have lovingly exchanged hands recently.

Kirsten Cappy threw a little mid-week frolic at Curious City around a musty box she received from a beloved professor in need of letting go her collection of children's books. Fruit, nuts, and a zesty zin rounded out the occasion.

Mary Anne Lloyd found many treasured favorites from her own childhood.

The time tick tocked away as we browsed old and new, such as this surprising take on  Virginia Wolf.

 I went home with this sturdy stack of vintage titles, each one striking a chord in my heart. 
Thank you, Kirsten!

A couple of days later, I traveled to Ossipee Lake in NH to visit my 90-year old Uncle Rolie. He lives down a dirt road, but you can't miss his driveway.

I've always enjoyed this owl he painted in the entryway. That's a real squirrel tail sticking out.

He was in a mood to pass on some stuff. He worked as a Commercial Artist in Boston and for many years in the Drafting Department at Western Electric. Maybe no coincidence I have a thing for vintage instruction books, lettering, stock photography.

Awhile ago he gave me his set of books from a correspondence course called "Famous Artists Course" through the Institute of Commercial Art in Westport, CT. Their motto from 1952 still holds true today.

There are 4 volumes of very specific lessons and explicit instructions. I once thought it would be fun to try a few on my students, but have not yet. Copying has kinda gone out of style, but it still has value for practicing technique. 

Here's a sample, with Rolie's drawing on the right. 

Meanwhile, I received from a distant friend, Dan, a batch of goods that belonged to an elderly neighbor. Peg Keenan had no relatives and he couldn't bear to simply toss a certain leather hat box of travel slides and souvenirs. My love of vintage photo albums is well-known to my circle. Yep, this came to the right place.

On the same day, I received my blank sketchbook from the Sketchbook Project. Yay! My chosen theme is Pictures and Descriptions, so it seemed like a natural fit to draw from some of these old photos, which I find captivating.

This is Peg on her Communion Day, I am guessing. 1934.

I'm calling this series Not My Memories. It will be a good exercise in inventing a back story from a few vestiges from another time and place.

Lord knows I have lots of material to work with!

The next day I signed books at the Charlesbridge booth at the New England Products Trade Show in Portland. What fun! I met so many nice folks. The topper was meeting the amazing illustrator/author David McPhail!

What a bounty of bookish wealth that has come my way this week. Now it's back to the classroom, where my students are drawing up a storm.

More to come on that soon!

1 comment:

katherine said...

Hi Darlin', you are the busiest of bees this Spring! What a wonderful post full of goodies!!