Film noir 101 : the 101 best film noir posters from the 1940s-1950s by Mark Fertig

Fantagraphics Books, 2014

Fantagraphics Books, 2014

“It was my mother’s fault. She had a thing for Dana Andrews.”  So begins, in typically clipped, noirish fashion, Mark Fertig’s wonderfully erudite introduction to this lavish volume of his favourite film noir posters. William Friedkin’s foreword defines the genre simply as “dark, cynical stories filmed in black and white”, and not much else needs to be added, except to say that unlike their parent films these posters are often almost perversely ablaze with colour, but still full of the claustrophobic intensity of the films they so successfully portray.

Edward Seago by James Russell

Lund Humphries, 2014

Lund Humphries, 2014

The beautiful art of British painter Edward Seago exists within the idyllic post-impressionist tradition of English painting with its vast skies, protective seas, rolling landscapes and luminous cities. Massively popular in his day, it’s good to see his art finding a new and appreciative audience. This new volume examines not just his English landscapes and portraits but also his work as a war artist during World War II, as well as his charming circus and theatre pictures and paintings made during many of his overseas travels; including the amazing series of Antarctic landscapes made during a trip through the region as a guest of Prince Philip on board HMS Britannia. Nice work if you can get it!

State fair : the last living Munchkin from The wizard of Oz and other stories by Christopher Chadbourne

Kehrer, 2014

Kehrer, 2014

I suspect that we have nothing quite comparable to American State Fairs here in Australia (perhaps our Royal Agricultural Shows get close), and this marvellous photo-essay by photographer Christopher Chadbourne captures them in all of their chaotic, bizarre and colourful glory. “For a nominal fee, people of all shapes and sizes, of diverse ethnicities, races, religions and economic status are allowed entry. And once inside, each has an equal opportunity to experience the thrills of the midway, show or view prize pigs at the agricultural pavilions, eat over a hundred different things on a stick, or watch the Queens’ likeness being carved out of butter.” Roll up, roll up, step this way…..

The Museum of the Horse : Domaine de Chantilly: Philip Jodidio (editor)

Prestel, 2013

Prestel, 2013

Situated in the glorious Chateau de Chantilly surrounded by gardens designed by the great André Le Nôtre, the Museum of the Horse must be one of the most remarkable collections centred on a single subject anywhere in the world. The Chateau was a centre of all things equestrian as far back as the 18th century, and in 1982 was transformed into a museum devoted to documenting the history and culture of the horse from earliest times onwards. Some of the artworks here are truly beautiful, but for my money it’s hard to go beyond the delightful merry-go-round horses in the museum’s burgeoning collection.

Beyond the battlefield : women artists of the two World Wars by Catherine Speck (ebook)

Reaktion Books, 2014

Reaktion Books, 2014

This marvellous (and long overdue) ebook focuses on the work of women artists during the two world wars, covering artists from Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and America. Although only relatively few of these women were employed officially by the war-art programs in their respective countries, they nevertheless managed to create marvellous works documenting life on the homefront, as well as occasionally getting closer to the frontline. And of course, during the Second World War the frontline in Europe shifted across to the homefront in England, and these marvellous artists were there to bring their own unique perspectives to it.

 

Something you probably won’t find in the Museum of the Horse; from the never less than perverse Police News

Police News, 1877

Police News, 1877

The thief was forced to ride with a sign reading “horse thief” for over six hours, before being rescued by a Trooper Donnelly; he was then arrested for horse stealing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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