Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Enoch Bolles the Originator: Today is International Selfie Day!


As previously promised, the Bolles vault of rarities has been cracked open for your viewing pleasure.  And today's celebration is the perfect occasion to share this image, which I declare is the first depiction of a selfie in the history of pinup art, until proven otherwise.  Notice that sure and stylish grip our Bolles girl has on that camera. Those signature lifted pinkies mean she's posing as much for us for herself. Now if I could just get my hands on that photo!

Thursday, November 9, 2017

A Tasty Tootsie Wootsie Trolley Card by Bolles


I can't blame you if you've been frustrated with the ebbing output over the past year on this site. You deserve an explanation.  But first, let me offer a tasty reward for your patience and continued interest in all things Bolles,  Here we have a charming and previously unknown Bolles illustration completed in 1925 for what was then called a Car Card.  They were mounted above the windows of trolley cars and buses, and were the dominant form of visual advertising. Think of them as the cardboard equivalent of TV commercials; brief, to the point, and ephemeral.  The cards would hang for no longer than two weeks and then were tossed in the trash.  Others were repurposed as wall insulation in houses. Take a look at the unrestored version below, and you see what that does to them.  


But back to the paltry pace of posting. It's not a reflection of any drop of interest in our man Enoch. Quite the contrary, I'm more motivated than ever to get my book project on his life and work published. And there's some hopeful news. It currently is in review at a major art publisher.  

The fact is that each and every one of the Bolles images in the 250 plus posts from this site have been 'repurposed' on the web thousands of times.  That's all fine and dandy but the lesson learned is that to have any chance of getting the book published, I'm obligated to save most of the unseen, unknown and forgotten advertising illustrations, magazine covers, drawings, preliminary sketches, pinup paintings(!) and other goodies for the book.  But not all of them, and so over the next few weeks I promise to post some other rarities.     

In the meantime, those of you interested in seeing more about Streetcar ads will find no better source than this book written by Woody Savage, the leading authority on car cards.  I have a copy and it's terrific, chock full of great art (including some by Bolles) and fascinating information on this forgotten form of advertising.  Woody also has a website that includes many images from the book. You can even order printed copies of your favorite card.  Maybe one day I'll have something similar for the Bolles book.  
An ad by the leading producer of
Streetcar
advertising.

The top image is by Bolles.