Annals of Ephemera: Town & Country Cookbook
Cover, Town and Country Cookbook, 1953
Books are, by their very nature, often judged by their covers. Like miniature posters or single-frame film trailers, the book cover is the visual prologue to what lies beneath. Book cover designers are visual choreographers who frame miniature narratives in order to tease prospective readers into wanting more. Which often means showing less.
It's unclear what, exactly, inspired the anonymous designer of this 1953 cookbook...
Art Director Ken
Art Director Ken © Mattel, 2003.
Ken, who turned 46 yesterday, shares a birthday with eighteenth-century chemist Joseph Priestly
, nineteenth-century astronomer Percival Lowell
, and twentieth-century singer songwriter, Neil Sedaka
. (And as of yesterday, twenty-first century newborn heir to an entertainment empire, Liam Aaron McDermott
.) Over the years, Ken-the-chameleon has evolved from being "Barbie's Boy-Friend" to being a man in his own right, from "Live Action Ken" in 1970, to "Walk Lively Ken," "Busy Ken" and even "Talking Busy Ken" in 1971. (If you pulled a string, he said things like "Barbie's a great cook!") 1973's "Live Action Ken" gave way to "Gold Medal Ken" in 1974 (weirdly, as the Olympics were held in 1972) and what followed were a good decade's-worth of beach surfing, fun-loving, disco-dancing Kens taking us into the early '80s. ("Dream Date Ken," a 1982 issue, was dressed in a silver bodysuit with a pink cummerbund.) By the late 1980s, Ken had joined the Ice Capades and was piloting an airplane ("Ice Capades Ken" and "Flight Time Ken," both 1989) and two years later he was rapping, rollerblading and had joined the Marines...
Lost, O Lost
Photograph of Evelyn Waugh by Douglass Glass."Literature is either the essential or nothing."
The English writer Evelyn Waugh
(1903-1966) is perhaps best known for his satirical portraits of the British
upper class. Several of his novels (including Brideshead Revisited
and A Handful of Dust
) have been lovingly dramatized in Merchant/Ivory films
, where the novelist's own love/hate relationship with the aristocracy underscores the kinds of spiritual and social conflicts for which he is perhaps best remembered. Waugh was, by all indications, a man of contradiction. At turns mean, shy, conservative and shocking, he remained nevertheless a master wordsmith, a writer of uncanny lyricism, whose words even in a want ad seem to dance across the page...