January

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January, Where Daffodils Lie Sleeping (no date) by Samuel John Lamorna Birch.

One day left to post some more January paintings. These are mostly British scenes, and the snowier ones give a good sense of how it’s been here for the past few days.

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Morning in January (no date) by Gerald Gardiner.

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January (1960) by Denis Booth.

Continue reading “January”

Alphonse Mucha record covers

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Henryk Wieniawski / Alexander Glazunov: Violin Concerto No. 2 In D Minor / Violin Concerto In A Minor (1965); Ida Haendel, Prague Symphony Orchestra, Václav Smetácek. Artwork: Morning Star (1902).

Continuing an occasional series about artists or designers whose work has been used on record sleeves. Note that this is a selection of works by Alphonse Mucha only. Pastiches of the Mucha style are plentiful, and some—like Barney Bubbles’ cover for Space Ritual by Hawkwind—are very familiar, but I’ll leave it to someone else to go looking for those.

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Gypsy (1970) by Gypsy. Artwork: La Plume: Zodiac (1896).

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Dvorák: Slavonic Dances (1993); Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Václav Talich.

Mucha is one of the most celebrated of all Czech artists so it’s no surprise his work appears on releases from Czech label Supraphon. This is one of a series of orchestral recordings that use a Mucha postage stamp for the cover art.

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Wildeana 14

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BookBench by Trevor Skempton.

Continuing an occasional series. Recent (and not-so-recent) Wildean links.

• The BookBench above is one of several pieces of street furniture placed around London last autumn all of which were based on literary works past and present. Trevor Skempton’s design for Oscar Wilde was based on The Importance of Being Earnest which wouldn’t have been my choice (Dorian Gray, please). See the rest of the designs here.

• “Rare Play About Oscar Wilde Will Return to NYC“: John Gay’s solo play Diversions & Delights will get its first professional New York staging since Vincent Price performed it on Broadway in 1978.

Chapter Three, “Strike a Pose,” concerns Wilde’s visit to the New York studio of the celebrated portrait photographer Napoleon Sarony, where he posed for twenty-seven portraits. The now-familiar images from this session would be used not only for publicity, but also on trade cards advertising “products ranging from cigars to kitchen stoves.” An image of Wilde even wound up promoting “Mme Marie Fontaine’s Bosom Beautifier for Beautifying & Enlarging The Bust.’”

Jennie Rathbun reviews Wilde in America: Oscar Wilde and the Invention of Modern Celebrity by David M. Friedman

• “Letters unravel mystery of the death of Oscar Wilde’s wife: Grandson of Irish dramatist has unearthed medical evidence in private family letters which points to likely cause of death”.

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Mme Marie Fontaine’s Bosom Beautifier for Beautifying & Enlarging The Bust. Trade card, 1882.

Books from Oscar Wilde’s library discovered in the National Library of the Netherlands.

Wilde-inspired: a list of recommended film viewing.

Elsewhere on { feuilleton }
The Oscar Wilde archive

Number 10: Mirror Animations, a film by Harry Smith

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Another Harry Smith film that’s very similar to the one featured here a couple of weeks ago, Number 11, which is also entitled Mirror Animations. Smith wrote a description for this one: “An exposition of Buddhism and the Kaballah in the form of a collage. The final scene shows Agaric mushrooms growing on the moon while the Hero and Heroine row by on a cerebrum.” The copy at YouTube has an improvised score which isn’t very flattering. The film runs for around 4 minutes so I’d suggest finding something of that length from elsewhere. Elastic Dance by African Head Charge works well.

Previously on { feuilleton }
Number 11: Mirror Animations, a film by Harry Smith
Meeting Harry Smith by Drew Christie
Heaven and Earth Magic by Harry Smith
Harry Smith revisited
The art of Harry Smith, 1923–1991