Movie graphic from Denmark, circa 1926–64

Swing Time (1936) signed: Erik F. I’ve done three posts of vintage Swedish movie posters, but this is my first (and probably last) post of Danish posters. Kurt Wenzel and Erik F. (Erik Frederiksen) seem to be the big names in poster design in Denmark. The reproductions are from expired auction listings at ha.com. Heritage doesn’t have many to choose from (unlike the Swedish posters), and almost all of them are stamped by the Danish censor board, which makes me think they come from a single collection. Greed (1926) Kiss of Death (1947) Last Warning (1929) The Thing from Another World (1951) The War of the Worlds (1954) signed: Wenzel King Kong (poster, 1948) signed: Boye The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) Pearls of the Crown (1937) signed: Rodian T. Dark Victory (1939) Leave Her to Heaven (1948) signed: Willy Suspicion (1948) Looks like Wenzel again The 39 Steps (1960) signed: Wenzel The Puritan (Early 1940s) signed: Ruthwenn Eriksen Chamber of Horrors (1947) signed: Erik F. The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb (1964) The Gay Divorcee (1934) signed: Erik F. Maciste in Hell (1927) signed: Wenzel I would have guessed a much later date for this poster The Night of the Hunter (1955) signed: Wenzel Sunset Boulevard (1951) signed: ByS? This post first appeared on April 7, 2014 on 50 Watts

Eva Bednářová, illustrations

Illustrations by Eva Bednářová for ‘Pohádky’ (Fairy Tales) by Olga Scheinpflugová (Prague, 1971) From my earlier post “Button Tales”:Eva Bednářová (1937–1986) was a prolific Czech illustrator who won both BIB and IBBY awards (major illustration awards). I haven’t found a bio for her in English, but this Czech page includes a bibliography, a photo, and two amazing images (I want whatever books they come from) [April 2014 update: they come from this book!]… I think just one book featuring Bednářová’s work made it into English: Chinese Fairy Tales (Artia 1969, 1970s in English on Amazon). For the same Artia fairy tale series, she illustrated stories by Perrault and d’Aulnoy in 1978 (cheap French reprint here; will feature it someday) and stories from Tibet in 1974. And about the author, from wikipedia: “Olga Scheinpflugová (1902–68) was a Czech actress and writer. She was a daughter of the writer, journalist and playwright Karel Scheinpflug. In 1935, she married the writer Karel Čapek.” (I look forward to learning more about her.) from the cover (my copy is worn and dirty) illustrated boards I just wound up with a bunch more illustrated books by Czech artists — Hoffmeister, Pacovska, Serych, Fuka, Stepan, Bednarova, etc. I promise to share some scans before they get absorbed into the hoard. Until then, revisit the archives for more Czech books. This post first appeared on April 2, 2014 on 50 Watts

Quintessential Space Pulp Art by Ron Turner and other British artists

We all love and appreciate American science fiction art from the 1930s-1950s, the joy and the optimism, the indelible sense of wonder these pulp covers and paperbacks conveyed… but the similarly cheerful and perhaps even more spectacular British science fiction art from the same era is often overlooked and hugely underestimated – so today we are going to bring to light some of the more colorful (some will say, “lurid”) examples of British pulp and paperback cover art.


(images are courtesy Galactic Central and Gems from the Collection)

Ron Turner’s spectacular space art and impressively-detailed science fiction illustrations appeared on the covers for Vargo Statten Science Fiction Magazine, and multiple “space opera” paperbacks published throughout the 1950s by Scion Publications.

Aliens were just as flamboyant, exotic and exciting to look at as inside American classic science fiction pulps:

And this lovely couple is going to make their best out of their honeymoon in space, we’re sure! -

Most of the images shown here are courtesy Galactic Central and Gems from the Collection. See more wonderful examples of British science fiction art inside this set.

illustrations from Gente Menuda

An overview of the illustrators of the 1930s Spanish children’s magazine Gente Menuda From the collection of Museo ABC in Madrid and with great thanks to curator Felipe Hernández Cava and my friend Alfonso Melendez Carlos Masberger, 1931 These images come from an exhibit curated by Felipe Hernández Cava for Museo ABC on Gente Menuda, which first appeared in 1904 as a children’s supplement of Blanco y Negro. Its heyday occurred from the early 1930s up until the Spanish Civil War and this post focuses on those years. I’m also working on separate posts to highlight the work of Carlos Masberger, Felix Alonso, and Piti Bartolozzi. Curator Felipe Hernández Cava is also one of Spain’s best comic strip writers, starting out in the El Cubri collective. Much gratitude to the ABC Museum staff for sending the catalog of the exhibit. Alfonso Melendez, who introduced me to this world of illustration, shows a lot of his own work and the work of his brother, illustrator Francisco Melendez, on his Facebook page. Carlos Masberger, 1933 Carlos Masberger, 1935 Enrique Climent, 1931 Enrique Climent, 1931 Enrique Climent, 1931 Antonio Barbero, 1931 Felix Alonso, 1931 Felix Alonso, 1931 Felix Alonso, 1930 Piti Bartolozzi, 1932 Piti Bartolozzi, 1932 Piti Bartolozzi, 1933 Salvador Bartolozzi, 1930 Salvador Bartolozzi, 1930 Francisco López Rubio, 1935 López Rubio was a major force behind the publication, illustrating most of its covers, which can be seen in an earlier post. Echea, 1933 Echea, 1931 Areuger, 1934 Carlos Tauler, 1930 Hortelano, 1933 Hipolito Hidalgo de Caviedes, 1930 Viera Sparza, 1935 Viera Sparza, 1935 Pedro Antequera Azpiri, 1928 ATC, 1931 ATC, 1932 Gente Menuda cover Some of the artists of Gente Menuda: Felix Alonso (sometimes F.A.G.) Areuger (Gerardo Fernandez de la Reguera Aguilera) A.T.C. (Angeles Torner Cervera) Pedro Antequera Azpiri Antonio Barbero Piti Bartolozzi (Francisca) Salvador Bartolozzi Bellon (Antonio Bellon Uriarte) Enrique Castillo Enrique Climent Echea (Enrique Martinez de Tejada y Echevarria) Hipolito Hidalgo de Caviedes Hortelano (Enrique Hortelano Martinez) Francisco Lopez Rubio (1895–1965) Carlos Masberger (1902-1969) Francisco Ramirez Montesinos Antonio Orbegozo Serny (Ricardo Summers Isern) Viera Sparza Carlos Tauler (sometimes Polito) This post first appeared on March 25, 2014 on 50 Watts

Lithuanian illustrations (c. 1947–1972)

from Illustrarium Arūnas Tarabilda, Confusion of the Stars, 1963 The images and quotes in this post come from the catalog Illustrarium: Soviet Lithuanian Children’s Book Illustration. Illustrarium was a project dedicated to Lithuania’s participation as a guest of honor country at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair in 2011. Publisher’s description: “The catalogue features Soviet Lithuanian children’s book illustrations created between 1945 and 1990. The display in the exhibition and in the catalogue as well has been composed with the aim of evoking a general Soviet-epoch context in Lithuania in which these children’s books were published and showing the most interesting work from Lithuanian artists of the field.” Arūnas Tarabilda, Confusion of the Stars, 1963 Telesforas Kulakauskas, cover for Limpopo: The Adventures of Dr. Aiskauda, 1949 Vaclovas Kosciuška, Two Little Cocks, 1959 Vincas Dilka, I’m Not a Tiny Tot Anymore, 1947 “one of the first ideologically charged postwar books for Soviet Lithuanian children” Aspazija Surgailienė, Little Anthony and the Moon, 1960 Arvydas Každailis, When the Earth Rises, 1967 “The artist combined elements of Polish children’s book illustrations with his own impressions of paintings by Paul Klee which made a huge impact on him.” Albina Makunaitė, The Liberator of the Sun, 1959 “accepted in Lithuania as a groundbreaking example, proving the possibility of rejecting Socialist Realism and modernizing graphic art using the principles of primitive art (in this case, Lithuanian folk art). The book was translated into several languages, including Swahili.” Arvydas Každailis, Thank You Rogue Stone, 1963 Birutė Žilytė, The Golden Sieve, 1967 Also see: The Brave Girl from Vilnius and Greenbeard the Killer Vytautas Valius, “The Gnomes and the Music,” for the children’s magazine Genys, 1967 Arūnas Tarabilda, Journey to the Ditch, 1961 Vladislovas Zilius, Vai tai duda, 1972 Algirdas Steponavičius, The Frog Queen, 1962 Someday I’ll do a full post on this book, which I’ve owned for a few years. It was “one of the most popular books in Soviet Lithuania, loved by children and their parents, and recognized by professionals.” It won many awards. “My pictures are not straightforward illustrations to the text; rather, they are universal artistic structures speaking about being. The plots of the fairy tales are not really important, they are immersed in the lurking shapes.”—Algirdas Steponavičius Algirdas Steponavičius, “The Wolf’s Friendship” in Genys magazine, 1967 Algirdas Steponavičius, “The Monstrous Vacuum Cleaner,” for Genys magazine, 1967 Ieva Naginskaitė, What the Scissors Did, 1961 “The only interactive Lithuanian children’s book of the 1960s…” Teodora Každailienė, Where the Ships Hoot, 1970 Lidija Glinskiene, Iron Fingernails, 1968 Lidija Glinskiene, Leine the Warrior, 1965 Aspazija Surgailienė, The Chest of Fairy Tales, 1961 Marija Ladigaitė, The Four Winds of Winter, 1963 “These illustrations are remarkable, not only for their modern form, but also for the intense mood of overwhelming sadness…” Kastytis Skromanas, Our Soliders, 1971 “An example of Soviet military propaganda…” Rimtautas Gibavičius, Little Pieces of Amber, 1961 Marija Ladigaitė, The Little Owl’s Dream, 1969 Lidija Glinskiene, Little Fire, Conqueror of the Seven, 1965 Arvydas Každailis, Our Cars, 1972 About the exhibit:The exhibits reveal what ideas and images were instilled in little readers, how they served the dissemination of Communist ideology and to what extent children were allowed to live in the child’s world of fairy tales, adventures and imagination. The exhibition is broken into three parts corresponding to the three main stages in the history of Soviet Lithuania. The exhibits are arranged chronologically and according to four themes: the children’s book as a mouthpiece for propaganda, the children’s book as a means of sustaining the national identity, the children’s book as a “window to the West”, and the child’s world as it emerges in the illustration of children’s books. Originals of books and illustrations are on view, while the catalogue includes photographs from the period reflecting the lives of children and the atmosphere, and posters which accompanied children’s cultural life. All Lithuanians who experienced a Soviet childhood keep memories of the legendary pair of artists Birutė Žilytė and Algirdas Steponavičius. Today we can discover a new relevance in work by artists who established themselves in the 1960s and 1970s. Steponavičius is the key to understanding the artistic world of the entire generation of contemporary book illustrators. He set a standard for the most talented of his generation and younger Lithuanian graphic artists such as Lidija Glinskienė, Petras Repšys, Aspazija Surgailienė. He was indirectly a teacher for Stasys Eidrigevičius, who matured as an artist in Lithuania before continuing his career after 1980 in Poland. Žilytė, Steponavičius, their contemporaries and younger artists represented the entire epoch of Lithuanian culture which emerges in this exhibition. Thanks again to Rūta for her help! Also to Laura at Animalarium for turning me on to Illustrarium in 2011. See all posts tagged “Lithuania” This post first appeared on March 24, 2014 on 50 Watts

ex-libris collection

Bookplates from the collection of Richard SicaMarin Gruev (Bulgaria, b.1963) Konstantin Kalynovych (Russia, b. 1959) Also see a post I did on this artist on But Does it Float Endre Vadász (Hungary, 1901-44) artist unknown Enrico Vannuccini (Italy) artist unknown Harry Jürgens (Estonia/Germany, b. 1949) Jaroslav Marik Endre Vadász (Hungary, 1901-44) Rudolf Lipus (Germany) Takeshi Katori (Japan, b. 1949) Takeshi Katori (Japan, b. 1949) Otto Greiner (Germany, 1869-1916) Julian Jordanov (Bulgaria, b. 1965) See all bookplate posts on 50 Watts (including parts 1 through 11 of this series). This post first appeared on March 19, 2014 on 50 Watts