Thursday, February 6, 2014

Cartoon Modern, Socially Backward

I'm never quite sure: Do illustrations from the 1950s and '60s appeal to me because they're bathed in that "everything was perfect when I was 8 years old" glow, or do they legitimately have some cheery artistic merit? I don't know, but I love cartoon modern drawings.

I found a boxful over the weekend while going through some family files.

These cards are great not just because of the art style, but also for the shocked laughter they provoke. Can you imagine a card like this today?

Sexist and racist -- a Daily Double!

So you're expecting another one! Wow.

This card had a length of heavy thread knotted at the center of the telephone. It ran through the seven other pages of the card, showing all of the people on the phone who were gossiping about you, the card recipient, and your latest pregnancy. (Because of the tightness of the thread, I couldn't open it up enough to get a photo.)

All those well-dressed ladies hanging out at home, leisurely taking a feather duster to their husband's framed photo. Oh yeah, as if that was ever a thing.

When she's not waiting lustily at the door....

...she's burning dinner in the age before smoke alarms.

There was an occasional card that had nice artwork without the reminder of how far we've come:

This one had raised thermographic letters and kind of a silk-screened finish. Not to mention a restrained color palette.

And I would be remiss if I left out the Sears freezer owners' guide, even though it uses photography instead of illustration. Don't we all stand around in our full-length dresses admiring our freezers?

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