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• • • Being a journal by artist and designer John Coulthart, cataloguing interests, obsessions and passing enthusiasms.

Archive for the ‘Art Deco’ tag


Papillons by EA Séguy


I’d seen a couple of these plates before—BibliOdyssey has a post about Séguy’s insect art—but not the book as a whole. In addition to the butterfly portraits there are also a number of suggestions for textile designs based on butterfly wings. Papillons was published in 1925. Five years later Séguy produced a collection of Art […]

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George Barbier’s Le Bonheur du Jour


French artist and designer George Barbier was born on 16th October, 1882, so here’s a post for his birthday. Barbier’s work has appeared here in the past but there’s still more to be seen, especially his book illustrations. Le Bonheur du Jour; ou, Les Graces a la Mode is a series of prints from 1924, […]

Posted in {art}, {design}, {drugs}, {fashion}, {gay} | 1 comment »


Fleurs by Serge Gladky


More from the Glasgow School of Art book collection at the Internet Archive. Fleurs (1929) by Serge Gladky might be described as flowers à la mode, with the mode being Art Deco on the one hand and late Cubism on the other. Twenty-six plates present a variety of floral motifs and designs with some very […]

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The Last Words of Dutch Schultz, a film by Gerrit van Dijk


Gerrit van Dijk’s combination of live-action sequences and rotoscoped animation is tangentially related to William Burroughs, it being Burroughs who popularised the deathbed ramblings of New York gangster Arthur “Dutch Schulz” Flegenheimer with a “fiction in the form of a film script” also entitled The Last Words of Dutch Schultz (1970). Flegenheimer was gunned down […]

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The Metropolis of Tomorrow by Hugh Ferriss


Crowding Towers. The work of architectural renderer Hugh Ferriss (1889–1962) has appeared here before. The Metropolis of Tomorrow (1929) was a major influence on the architectural style I deployed in the Reverbstorm series, together with Berenice Abbott’s photographs of New York City in the 1930s. Ferriss’s hazy proposals for cities of the future are more […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {comics}, {film}, {science fiction}, {work} | 1 comment »


Weekend links 161


My friend James Marriott died last year. He was 39. His final book, The Descent, a study of Neil Marshall’s acclaimed horror film, is launched on Friday at the Cube Microplex in Bristol. The book is published by Auteur, a UK imprint, in their Devil’s Advocates series. James was finishing the book a year ago […]

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Weekend links 144


Ruins 3 by Rachel Thomas and Dan Tobin Smith. “Dan wanted to do something on a really large scale and was looking at a lot of Piranesi and started talking to me about ruins. I then started looking at modern interpretations of this idea, I was obsessed with the post modern architecture of SITE, Disney […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {design}, {drugs}, {electronica}, {film}, {gay}, {music}, {photography}, {psychedelia}, {sculpture} | 1 comment »


Reverbstorm on sale


At long last, the news that many people have been waiting for: the Reverbstorm book is now on sale at Savoy. From the hyperbolic press release: “Surfin’ bird Bbbbbbbbbbrbrbrbrbrb…awawawawawawawaaaaaah! A-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-ooma-mow-mow Papa-oom-mow-mow!” The Trashmen, Surfin’ Bird Welcome to the nightmare metropolis of Torenbürgen, where New York’s Art Deco architecture has fused with the termination machinery of […]

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Frantisek Drtikol’s Salomés


Salomé (c. 1919). Frantisek Drtikol (1883–1961) was a Czech artist and photographer whose nude studies frequently borrowed fin de siècle themes. Salomé was a subject he returned to on many occasions with different models. In other hands this might be a pretext for showing naked flesh but Drtikol’s work goes beyond mere soft porn with […]

Posted in {photography} | 3 comments »


Reverbstorm: an introduction and preview


Reverbstorm: 1994–2012. Art, intellectual pursuits, the development of the natural sciences, many branches of scholarship flourished in close spacial, temporal proximity to massacre and the death camps. It is the structure and meaning of that proximity that must be looked at. […] But there is a [...] danger. Not only is the relevant material vast […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {comics}, {design}, {fantasy}, {horror}, {politics}, {work} | 15 comments »


Koloman Moser posters


Secession poster (1899). Since I’ve been delving over the past year into the fin de siècle culture of Germany and Austria, the name of Koloman Moser (1868–1918) has kept recurring. This is partly because of Moser’s associations with the Viennese Secession and the Wiener Werkstätte, of course, but I’ve made a point of drawing attention […]

Posted in {art nouveau}, {art}, {design}, {theatre}, {typography} | 2 comments »


The art of Mel Odom


Boys Kiss 2 (2007). The gay artists archive has for a long time been the most popular part of this site, that page proving twice as popular as the next post down. In which case I feel I ought to try and add to its contents a bit more frequently… Mel Odom is an American […]

Posted in {art}, {gay}, {illustrators}, {painting} | 3 comments »


Deutsche Kunst und Dekoration #23


An exhibition of Wiener Werkstätte posters and graphics. Continuing the delve into back numbers of Deutsche Kunst und Dekoration, the German periodical of art and decoration. Volume 23 covers the period from October 1908 to March 1909, and aside from some dull paintings the Wiener Werkstätte continue to dominate proceedings with photographs and graphics from […]

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Deutsche Kunst und Dekoration #15


Continuing the delve into back numbers of Deutsche Kunst und Dekoration, the German periodical of art and decoration. This week there’s another jump in the running order, from volume 12 to 15, and it’s impossible to avoid feeling frustrated by this when some of the previous editions have been so good. Volume 15 covers the […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art nouveau}, {art}, {design}, {gay}, {illustrators}, {magazines}, {painting}, {symbolists} | 1 comment »


Deutsche Kunst und Dekoration #11


Continuing the delve into back numbers of Deutsche Kunst und Dekoration, the German periodical of art and decoration. Volume 11 covers the period from October 1902 to March 1903, and is almost solely devoted to the many design exhibits from the Prima Esposizione Internazionale d’Arte Decorativa Moderna, a major exposition held in Turin in the […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art nouveau}, {books}, {design}, {fashion}, {film}, {magazines}, {typography} | 5 comments »


Art Deco bindings


Contes Oscar Wilde (c. 1928), design by Paul Bonet. Two selections from this gallery of bookbindings from the 1920s. Few books receive this kind of treatment today but it’s by no means a lost art, The Guild of Book Workers has examples of recent designs. La Canne de Jaspe (c. 1925), design by Pierre Legrain. […]

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Esquisses Décoratives by René Binet


The work of French architect and designer René Binet (1866–1911) has been featured here before with one of his most famous creations, the monumental gate he designed for the Paris Exposition Universelle of 1900. Philippe Jullian in his 1974 book about the exposition, The Triumph of Art Nouveau, calls the gate the “Porte Binet” and […]

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Charles J Strong’s Book of Designs


Another gem from the cornucopia of scanned books at the Internet Archive, Charles J Strong’s Book of Designs was a style guide and motif resource for artists and amateur craftspeople tasked with the creation of advertising show cards or shop display signs. The book was first published by the Detroit School of Lettering in 1910, […]

Posted in {art nouveau}, {books}, {design}, {typography} | 2 comments »


The Thief of Bagdad


It’s the poster for the 1924 film version we’re concerning ourselves with here, not the more popular 1940 adaptation directed by Michael Powell. Both films are great but I have a special affection for Raoul Walsh’s silent version and this poster design has long been a favourite for the way it manages to condense the […]

Posted in {art}, {design}, {fantasy}, {film}, {illustrators} | 3 comments »


Weekend links 23


“The Go-Go wonder of Paris — That’s space girl. Transistors never wear down, they just go on and on — Even her heart is made of vinyl — It’s a marvy life — With nothing else to do but dance — Why not? – Love? — Forget it, baby — Not for her —” From […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {comics}, {electronica}, {eye candy}, {film}, {gay}, {music}, {photography}, {psychedelia}, {sculpture} | Comments Off



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