Friday, May 25, 2007

Music fosters domestic harmony

Now, as it did in 1943 when Flora provided this illustration for a Columbia Records magazine ad:

The smiley flora has antecedents:

Title page, Pip Pap Po, print from woodcut,
Little Man Press (Cincinnati), 1940

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Rare Flora print on eBay

A rare early 1940s relief print of a Jim Flora woodcut, printed by the artist over 60 years ago, is now being auctioned on eBay by the late artist's family. The auction closes on May 25.

The untitled, unsigned and undated work reflects Flora's early 1940s style, when many of his paintings, sketches and commercial illustrations featured disconnected body parts and pulled-apart faces linked with pin-lines, like a Calder mobile. Flora learned woodcutting at the Art Academy of Cincinnati in the late 1930s, and carved dozens of blocks over the ensuing decades.

Seven black-on-white copies of this print are in the Flora archives, but only one will be auctioned for now. Unlike dozens of vintage Flora prints for which blocks cannot be found, the original block for this print is in the family archive. However, because of a split in the aged wood, the block might not be serviceable for further prints.

Update: bidding ended at $415.00.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Now that you mention it ...

It's just weird that RCA Victor, releasing a 1955 narrative kiddie record of The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins by Dr. Seuss, would assign cover art to Flora instead of using Ted Geisel's original figures. Probably a copyright permissions—or lack of them—issue. Still, it's weird. You'd think the Seuss rights owners who gave RCA permission to use the literary work would object to another artist's commercial portrayal of the classic illustrations. Flora's great, but Seuss is—Seuss!

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

donut boy

Detail from Primer For Prophets, 1954 CBS-TV trade publication,
an alphabet booklet with each page illustrated by Flora

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Welcome to the club!

rnie (not Bert!) writes: "the important part here is the artist. I'd never heard of him, but his work is pretty well known in certain circles."

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Anybody own this?

Above is a rare Flora mid-1950s cover. (Granted, not one of his more spectacular illustrations.) We don't recall where we obtained this lo-res gif, but it's the only proof we've ever seen of this 7" EP's existence. We've been trawling for it on eBay and thru online rare vinyl dealers for years, with no success.

We'd like to own a copy. We don't care about the condition of the disc—it can be scuffed, gouged, or chipped. It can be melted or missing. The music is irrelevant. We just want to "listen to" the cover art.

UPDATE (10 JUL 07): eBay score!