The People – Couples folder has a whopping 222 images – right from early illustrations and etchings to contemporary photographs.
Come take a look at awkward couples, sad couples, passionate couples, pseudo couples, surreptitious couples, dramatic couples, dancing couples, frolicking couples and many other kinds of couples in between.
February 1970-January 1971
(12 issues; missing #4 & #8)
Album was published in London from 1970 to 1971. Its editor was Bill Jay.
It was a magazine of photography’s incursions.
Every page is black and white. No ornament, austere blocks of text. The effect is like drawing a curtain, or dimming the lights in a theater, only without the direction dictated by film, leaving you free to wander.
There are no advertisements.
Its concern was the actuality of practice. Old essays followed new talents in a critical space where “art photography” was as ludicrous a term as “art painting,” and what appears easy and available as a technology is, like any artistic practice, much more fugitive and essential.
We’ve been on a witch hunt. Look what we found.
Our witches are real. We stake our lives on it.
In the Picture Collection under Mythology & Fairy Tale –> Witches & Wizards.
1. Jong, Erica, “Witches,” Abradale Press, 1981
2. Ingpen, Robert and Page, Michael, “Encyclopedia of Things That Never Were,” Viking, 1987
3. Maple, Eric, “Witchcraft,” Octopus, 1973
Dress forms have been around for ages, with possibly the oldest one discovered in 1923 in King Tutankhamun’s tomb dating back to approximately 1350 B.C! What started as a basic and utilitarian human-like frame morphed through the ages from simple busts to elaborate European fashion dolls to the mannequins we see casually hanging out at store windows today. Not very casually actually, since they might actually be sizing you up for the powers that be.
Not surprisingly, these adjustable, modifiable human stand-ins also ended up in many works of art. And more recently, like this unwed lady who responded to the pressures of having a family by simply going out and buying herself the perfect one. And then spending 14 years documenting their life together.
Or this mannequin-dancer-robot-monster. Wow, that eye contact.
As you go through the folder, you can see window displays and how mannequins changed shape over the years, including some old and abandoned ones from a mannequin factory. You will also find pictures of their modern utilitarian versions – crash test dummies.
One of the highlights of this folder is a 7-page vintage 1920s catalog for a French mannequin maker. Each Flapper era mannequin is shown here in beautifully lit, black and white images.
Including the ones below, the Mannequins folder has a total of 38 items.
May 1968-May 1981 (incomplete)
In 1956 the U.S. and Soviet governments agreed to a mutual propaganda plan modeled on Life. From them we got The USSR which became Soviet Life which became Russian Life. From us they got Amerika which became America Illustrated. “Soft” propaganda for a Cold War. Gentle cultural competition. Achievement, progress, beauty, tourism. Soviet Life could celebrate the cosmonauts and the construction of a dam as though ballistics and explosives were signs of society’s liberation. One can just imagine what Amerika looked like.
Somewhat relatedly, the U.S. Information Agency, which seems to have had a hand in all this, also employed Chermayeff & Geismar (which later added & Haviv) for a traveling Russian-language exhibition that showcased American design. Featured among the designer portraits, which can be found in the Milton Glaser Archives, was none other than Milton Glaser.
Find Soviet Life bound in green in the back near the bathrooms.