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Alternatives in Oz
Long before Wicked was the popular alternative to L. Frank Baum’s 1900 novel and the 1939 MGM film The Wizard of Oz, there was The Wiz. Subtitled “The Super Soul Musical ‘Wonderful Wizard of Oz’,” The Wiz, created by Charlie Smalls and William F. Brown, utilized the beloved characters from L. Frank Baum’s original novel,...
folding fan, map, Central America
A Fan with a Plan
The desire to build a transoceanic canal through Nicaragua has endured for centuries. In 1791, a Frenchman, Martin de la Bastide, published a treatise urging the King of Spain to construct a canal through Central America by way of Nicaragua. The proposed canal took advantage of the Rio San Juan, a river on the Caribbean...
Circular form; smooth blue case surrounding metal band with Arabic numerals encircling white face with black hands; metal stem at top. At center: "WESTCLOX".
“An Essential Accessory”
This handbag watch, introduced in 1933 by the Westclox division of the General Time Instruments Corporation, offered the busy modern woman a portable, fashionable and discreet way to manage her time. [1] An alternative to wearing a wristwatch and about the size of a man’s pocket watch, this timepiece was large enough to be easily found...
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George Washington Did Not Sleep Here
This wallpaper is a reproduction of an earlier American wallpaper produced ca. 1800. Created during the waning years of the Colonial Revival movement it bears a strong neoclassical look with its inclusion of columns, obelisk and drapery swags. The design is in the pillar and arch format which was a popular British fashion from the...
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The Flamboyant Tree Runneth Over
A very novel idea in the mid-1950s is the running-over-onto-the-ceiling idea of this mural design. Lanette was a prolific textile and wallpaper designer and I think this concept is unique to her work. Murals were very much in demand in the years following the Second World War, following in the footsteps of the block-printed scenic...
In the shadows of the Brooklyn bridge, homeless girl spray painting a yellow house onto her home, which is a box. On this box bubble letters, in black: THIS SIDE UP.
Crisis on the Lower East Side
During the 1980s, there was a severe housing crisis in New York City. The building of residential properties had declined during the economic depression of the preceding decade and the limited supply of affordable housing caused a sharp increase in homelessness. In neighbourhoods like the Lower East Side, absentee landlords permitted old buildings to fall...
mitchell
Get Your Bistro On
I was looking through some wallpaper images and this design by Peter Todd Mitchell caught my attention. Instant bistro vibe! It’s like wallpaper and decoration all in one. While trompe l’oeil and imitative designs have always been popular wallpaper patterns there aren’t that many with projectile shelves. With produce and fresh-baked goods! The rustic brick...
Within a semi-circular architectural niche an eagle, wings outspread, rests on a socle, before which is suspended a wreath. Smoke rises in the background; an arch above, and volute brackets at either side. Ink framing lines. On verso, written: "Babel."
A Regal Post
Gilles-Marie Oppenord (1672-1742) was born to a Dutch Cabinet maker who worked exclusively for the French Court.  After having trained under his father, Oppenord set out for an education in Rome in 1692. It was there that he studied under the director of the French Academy in Rome, who encouraged him to pursue architecture by...
Pink oblong oval form with folded, undulating rim.
American Modernizing
Russel Wright’s massively popular American Modern Dinnerware line remained in production for 20 years—from 1939 to 1959—but that was only after Wright spent two years prodding reluctant manufacturers to mass-produce his unconventional ceramics. The line was a departure from everything that design, and tableware in particular, represented in prior years. Instead of restrained and formal,...