Brain Pickings

Posts Tagged ‘vintage’

19 AUGUST, 2011

Savoy Cocktail Book: Retro Recipes for Drinks from the 1920s-1930s

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Derby Fizzes, Gin Daisies, Harvard Coolers, and other Prohibition-era treats for your next dinner party.

For all its blessings and fascinations, retromania is easily at its most delicious when it comes to vintage food and drink, from the cocktails of Mad Men to yesteryear’s bizarre food concoctions. But there’s hardly a better way to add some vintage class to your life than with the Savoy Cocktail Book — a compendium of drink recipes from the 1920s and 30s when Prohibition-dodging Americans visited London’s iconic Savoy bar for “tea-dances” and “mixed drinks” shaken and stirred by iconic American barman Harry Craddock, who invented the White Lady and popularized the Dry Martini. Originally published in 1930, the book features 750 of Craddock’s most beloved recipes, from Slings to Smashes, Fizzes to Flips, alongside stunning art-deco illustrations that capture the era’s elegance and sophistication.

Currently out of print but snaggable used on Amazon, the Savoy Cocktail Book is at once a priceless time-capsule of a long-gone era and a powerful weapon for impressing your guests at your next dinner party.

via How To Be A Retronaut

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19 AUGUST, 2011

Mod Odyssey: How The Beatles Revolutionized Animation in 1968

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From Homer to John Lennon, or what the “psychedelic 60s” can teach us about creativity in animation.

Animated music videos are about as common today as photos of cats on the internet and, tragically often, not that much more original. But there was a time when they were a pinnacle of creative innovation, breaking entirely new ground. Earlier this year, we looked at the work of 5 early animation pioneers who changed the course of animated storytelling, and today we turn to the intersection of film and music with Mod Odyssey, a fascinating featurette on the making of The Beatles’ groundbreaking 1968 animated feature film, Yellow Submarine. More than a decade before Pixar, the film was not only a technical feat of animation execution but also a seminal work in bringing more attention to animation as a serious art form, both for audiences and for creators.

For the first time in screen history, extremely real and enormously famous people were going to be animated into a feature film.”

‘Yellow Submarine’ breaks new ground in the art of animation. Just as Swift and Carroll changed the history of literature, as Chagall and Picasso brought new life to art, The Beatles are revitalizing the art of animation. It’s a truly mod world, where medium and message meld — the new art of the psychedelic 60s.”

For more on animating Lennon, don’t forget the excellent and timeless I Met The Walrus, recorded the year after Yellow Submarine and animated 39 years later.

via Dangerous Minds

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15 AUGUST, 2011

A Brief History of Menu Design, 1850-1985

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What vintage restaurants reveal about the economy, creative influences and the evolution of foodie culture.

Last week, the fine folks at Under Consideraton launched Art of the Menu — an ambitious showcase of outstanding menus from around the world. But, as we know, all creativity builds on what came before, which brings us to today’s release of Menu Design in America: 1850-1985 by design writer extraordinaire Steven Heller (previously), Esquire food columnist John Mariani, cultural anthropologist and graphic design historian Jim Heimann, and high-end publisher Taschen (previously) — a delicious history of menu creativity, featuring nearly 800 vibrant illustrated examples of menu ephemera, alongside photographs of restaurants, that together tell the rich and fascinating story of eating out in America.

Apart from the incredible design history, Menu Design in America: 1850-1985 doubles as a curious tracker of American inflation, both economic (who’s in for a $1.50 fine-dining lunch?) and of culinary claims (how did we go from simple and to-the-point food descriptions to foofy foodie-speak?). But however you look at it, the 360-page mega-tome is a rare chronicle of creative evolution and a priceless piece of cultural history.

Images via Taschen

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