Category Archives: Picture Collection

Star Wars – The Print Awakens

Star Wars is getting the cover treatment from satirists, advertisers, motion graphics/animation/specicial FX artists, newsies, entertainment newsies, techies, and the world of science. Following is a sample of current, and a few historical covers in the SVA Library featuring the world’s foremost Space Opera.

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Looking back through the archives there are many more opportunities to spot friendly Jar Jars or the face of C-3PO’s from an earlier age of unrest within the empire.

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Or an even earlier (though chronologically later) cover treatment.

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Shadows & Silhouettes

Shadows and silhouettes present us with the world in simple, elegant forms. Bereft of detail, these dark ghosts against incandescent backdrops can be very evocative.

Above, 1 of 73 images from the Shadows and Silhouettes folder in the SVA Library Picture collection. It’s somewhat surprising how much narrative we can suss out of the simple arrangements. With very little detail we can deduce that this is a man and his dog out for an early morning hunt.

British Journal of photography, 2006

Here the decision not to include the actual figure in the image and only represent her shadow adds an unnerving supernatural quality to the image (at least for this viewer). It makes the viewer yearn to know more; who is the shadow connected to? The contrast between the patterns of colors on the wall and the strong  darkness of the shadows makes for a very active composition.


A window in a red rock wall deep within Ventana Mesa opens the canyon beyond to sunlight, making an exclamation point of light and shadow that changes shape with the slow rise of the sun. Ventana Mesa, Arizona

Lonely crowd – Some couples commuting to Grand Central Station now travel separately. Photograph for TIME by Nina Berman

Above, the bird’s eye view of these ice skaters and the time of day in which the photo was captured extends their shadows, exaggerating each of their movements. The shadows seem to be dripping off the figures across the white ice canvas as though gravity is working in a horizontal direction.

The use of a camera obscura in the image above is an example of how light can create beautiful forms. The image is distorted and there is a waviness to the man on the horse, however the subject matter is still recognizable. We seem to possess an ability to define things without any detail; contrast between dark and light is usually enough information. The simplicity and un-fussiness of silhouettes is part of their attraction.


Eventually the assembly line finds a way to make what you need, plus what you never thought to think you might want. In the picture collection folder Factories you might find evidence of the way our world was built.







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Advertising – Cigarettes

Instead of a cigarette, enjoy a small sampling from our chronological assortment of 1000’s cigarette ads, from the 1920’s till today, currently on display on the top shelf of the picture collection.





















Holidays – Christmas – Cards

Please enjoy these precious little Christmas cards from the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s. More can be found in  Holidays – Christmas – Cards. Happy Holidays!

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Design from 1961

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Design from 1976

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Design from 1973

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Design from 1966

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Relief design from 1972

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Designs from 1958

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Illustration by Hobson Pittman & Madye Lee Chastian

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Top left , “Skating in The Park” by BOSA; below, “Frozen Up” by Currier & Ives

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Happy Holidays!