Brain Pickings

Posts Tagged ‘vintage’

14 JANUARY, 2014

Salvador Dalí’s Rare 1975 Illustrations for Romeo & Juliet

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Shakespeare gone surrealist in red silk.

The greatest literary classics tend to attract a plethora of visual art and graphic tributes. But the highest convergence of text and image happens when an influential artist reimagines an influential piece of literature — take, for instance, Picasso’s 1934 drawings for a naughty ancient Greek comedy or Matisse’s 1935 etchings for Ulysses. Among the painters who most readily lent their talents to literary classics was Salvador Dalí, who illustrated Don Quixote in 1946, the essays of Montaigne in 1947, and Alice in Wonderland in 1969. In 1975, the iconic Spanish surrealist illustrated an ultra-limited, presently impossible to find edition of Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, published by Rizzoli in a red silk slipcase and featuring 10 lithographs by Dalí. Only 999 copies were published.

Complement with Dalí’s 1967 drawings for the twelve signs of the zodiac.

Images courtesy of Lockport Street Gallery via Richard Melnick

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10 JANUARY, 2014

Alice in Wonderland Illustrated by Ralph Steadman: A 1973 Gem

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Down the rabbit hole of creative magic, one truly mad hatter at a time.

In the century and a half since Lewis Carroll met little Alice Liddell and imagined around her his Alice in Wonderland, the beloved tale has inspired a wealth of stunning artwork, ranging from John Tenniel’s original illustrations to Leonard Weisgard’s mid-century masterpieces to Salvador Dalí’s little-known heliogravures to Robert Sabuda’s pop-up magic. But among the most singular and weirdly wonderful is the 1973 gem Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland Illustrated by Ralph Steadman (public library; Abe Books). Barely in his mid-thirties at the time, the beloved British cartoonist — best-known today for his collaborations with Hunter S. Thompson and his unmistakable inkblot dog drawings — brings to Carroll’s classic the perfect kind of semi-sensical visual genius, blending the irreverent with the sublime.

(Because, you know, it’s not a tea party until somebody flips the bird.)

Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland Illustrated by Ralph Steadman is an absolute treat in its entirety. Wash it down with The Alice in Wonderland Cookbook.

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07 JANUARY, 2014

The Secret Life of the Radio

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From Marconi to the microwave, by way of revolutionary technology, legal battles, and magical materials.

“When correctly harnessed, radio can be as emotional, as funny and as satisfying as the best motion pictures or television shows,” Ira Glass has said. Indeed, the radio is a medium imbued with equal parts nostalgia and timeless mesmerism — there is something singular, something especially enchanting about how its invisible waves entrance us with their sounds and stories. But how, exactly, does the radio work, and how did it come to be? That’s precisely what Tim Hunkin and Rex Garrod explore in this delightful vintage episode of the TV series The Secret Life Of Machines, written by Hunkin:

Pair with this animated 1937 guide to how radio works, this illustrated guide to making great radio starring Ira Glass, and these gorgeous vintage covers for Radio Times magazine.

For some fantastic post-wave modern radio, treat yourself to Design Matters by Debbie Millman, 99% Invisible by Roman Mars, and Radiolab by Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich.

Thanks, Alex

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