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12 Notes

Vintage Fridays: Retro Juxtaposition in Collage

Fridays are my favorite day of the week here at the Brooklyn Art Library (whose isn’t?) Not only is it Friday, but I also get to wander the shelves of Sketchbooks and the store looking for inspiration for the Vintage Friday post. Today I went over to the 2011 Sketchbook shelves and found books that use vintage paper clippings as a material for collage.

There is something so unexpected about imagery from the past in a modern piece of artwork. The clothes are retro, the women are chic, and the men are perfectly groomed. With all that perfection, it’s understandable to want to make it a little imperfect. Each of these artists finds his or her own way to have a little fun with the imagery. Check out these great examples:

Laurindo Feliciano
Paris, France
Science Projects Gone Wrong 

Carolyn Behrens
Wilmington, DE, USA

B.A. Lampman
Victoria, BC, Canada
It’s Raining Cats and Dogs 


Vintage Fridays: Ephemera in Sketchbooks

Here at the Brooklyn Art Library, we carry A LOT of vintage ephemera. From old library pockets, to linen post cards, to vintage food bags, it’s the type of thing that understandably some people have no idea what to do with (sometimes even me), and some people immediately see the beautiful and useful qualities of it.

I decided to do a little perusing of the 2011 Sketchbooks and found this book by Andrew Katz who uses vintage ephemera so well throughout his book…
I love the window he created showing through to a film strip, as well as the old stamps that he peppers in throughout the book.

Happy Vintage Friday!


1 Notes

Vintage Fridays: Engstrom Tool Makers Sign

One of my favorite wall pieces that we sell in the Brooklyn Art Library is this vintage, handmade, wooden tool makers sign. I love it for its imperfect type, and slight punctuational error. It has a high relief, with hand-carved wooden letters. I like to imagine where this might have originally come from…

I couldn’t find any information about Engstrom Inc. tool makers, but I was curious about what a store might look like with this type of sign out front. I stumbled upon this article which talks about Superior Berger’s Hardware store, which was kept in almost the same original shape as when it was opened in 1915, up until 1999.

According to the article, the owner Same Berger (pictured) used to say, “If we don’t have it, you don’t need it.” 

Sadly, Superior Berger’s Hardware store eventually closed, and all of the inventory was auctioned off. I can only imagine the mounds of vintage ephemera, tools, and supplies you could have found on the shelves from the original opening.

For more information about the Engstrom Tool Makers sign, please visit our shop here.

The photo and information about Sam Berger and his store was sourced from the News Tribune Attic.

3 Notes

Vintage Fridays: Airline Training Books

Having a piece of history like these vintage airline training books in our possession can be intimidating. When we have a whole stack of something old, sometimes I wonder: “Should we really split all of these things up?”

These little slices of history are so charming, from the vintage attire of the pilot and stewardess to the fonts used throughout the books. Our collection currently includes twenty-one of these books with titles ranging from “Sales Tools” to “Telephone and Ticket Counter Manners” and “Telephone Sales Techniques.” I can just imagine being a stewardess in those days, slipping on my girdle and pencil skirt and reading up on “International Route Structures” before I catch my next flight to Rio de Janeiro. 

As with all ‘lots’ of vintage goods, selling these books individually means that they will most likely go to many different homes. But we do get the opportunity to keep these resources alive by supplying them to many different people who will be inspired by these ephemeral artifacts. Maybe one will go to someone whose mother or grandmother was a stewardess in the 1950s and one will go to someone who adores airline history and will add it to her collection. Maybe one book will go to a designer who is inspired by the woodcut design on the cover or the use of a vintage typeface.

Whatever the reason, I am constantly inspired by vintage design and artifacts — and that’s what we hope to do for others at the Brooklyn Art Library.

For more information on these books, please visit our online shop here


1 Notes

Vintage Inspiration from the Brooklyn Art Library

Here at the Brooklyn Art Library, it’s really starting to feel like the holiday season. All around our neighborhood, decorations are up, and and weather is finally getting seasonally cold. In the holiday spirit, I can’t help but look around the store and see what would make great gifts. These photographs are our most recent treasures that we have just put out in the store. 

These gorgeous vintage head shots are so glamorous and would make an amazing gift…(hint hint). I hope you all enjoy gazing at these amazing photos as much as I do!

These are available in store, and will be available on our webstore that will be launching next week- just in time for the Holidays!