Friday, 29 June 2007
The Art of the Scrapbook
Leisured Victorians were inveterate compilers of scrapbooks and collectors will pay good money to acquire the best examples. Eye-catching images were easily found in the popular press and publishers were on hand to produce richly coloured cut-out figures specifically for scrapbooks. The practice survived the first half of the 20th. century but declined rapidly in the second. Examples can still be found in second hand bookshops and car boot sales but they are not so common as they were.
I have been filling up scrapbooks on an irregular basis since 1980. The selection criteria continually changes but the overall bias is towards advertising and editorial illustration. Some books have been devoted to single themes or subjects; others are collections of collages. At present, 15 have been completed; another 12 are works in progress. These pages celebrate British advertising art of the early 20th. century when colour in advertising was still a luxury. It was a period notable for inventive use of greyscale tones and decoration and for the directness of the appeal to the consumer.