Saturday, January 26, 2013

Letters (Mostly) From Newark

Newark, New Jersey can’t help but feel grim on a gray summer Sunday. I haven’t seen much of the city beyond the route from the Newark Museum to the train station, but I know the economic downturn put a stop to what was thought be its sure rejuvenation. But there's still hope. After a severe and steady downturn in population since the 1960s, the past couple of years have seen a slight uptick. And between rescuing folks from burning buildings and dogs from frigid temperatures, who knows what Mayor Cory Booker will accomplish.

As the second largest city in the New York metro area and birthplace of Philip Roth, I hope to go back and see more of Newark--especially the intact (and not-so intact) signage before it disappears with inevitable redevelopment.

Washington Florist seems to be permanently decked out for all holidays all the time. Not only is every day Mother’s Day, but you can count on Christmas in July, and the Easter Bunny too.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

The Posters of Dr. Hans Sachs

The legendary poster collection of Hans Sachs, the German dentist and the foremost collector of posters in early 20th Century Europe is being auctioned this weekend by Guernsey’s. Sachs began his collection of what he called “a new kind of advertising art,” as a teenager at the turn of the century and went on to amass over 12,000 posters. He was responsible for founding a society in 1905 to advance poster collecting and scholarship, and launched an associated magazine, Das Plakat with the designer, Lucian Bernhard.

On Kristallnacht, in November of 1938, by order of Nazi propagandist-in-chief Josef Goebbels, the collection was confiscated. The collector’s great granddaughter writes of how, at gunpoint, Sachs loaded his collection onto three awaiting trucks and never saw it again. Read her fascinating story of the creation, loss and rediscovery of this vast collection here.

In the interest of actually getting these images posted, I’ve done away with the annotations. (Is the unannotated post worth posting? I hope so.) You can find all the info here.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Minerals Rock!

This humongous stibnite specimen weighs in at almost half a ton and was rescued from a mine in China. It resides outside the Hall of Minerals at the Museum of Natural History in New York. The rest of the specimens here are from inside the H of M. While there is no way for you to gauge the scale in these photos (they may all be grand sculptures this way), I can assure you that they are all way more petite.














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