Some more vintage book covers I snapped recently, my favorite being the Jugendstil-ish Prince of the House of David. No credit was given for that illustration or for the calligrapher who did the hand-lettering on the Pakistan cover. However, the Steinbeck cover and interior were illustrated by Paris Review founding art editor, William Pène Du Bois, a prolific children’s book author in his own right.
From well before there were multi-national mega-corporations churning out the genetically modified nonsense that passes for food these days, these posters — mostly from the Office of War Information and War Food Administration (real things) — encouraged Americans to take ownership of their food supply by planting victory gardens and putting food up for long-term storage. Novel ideas, I’d say.
Renegade Darwinist/zoologist and truly “mesmerizing” illustrator Ernst Haeckel may have caused quite a stir when he posited organic matter as originating from inorganic matter through spontaneous generation. However, he’s most surely better known for his incessant visual chronicling of our planet’s oddest lifeforms and their myriad variations of form and color. In his article on the Public Domain Review, Dr Mario A. Di Gregorio, professor of the History of Science at the University of L’Aquila and author of From Here to Eternity: Ernst Haeckel and Scientific Faith, offers insight into the origins of Haeckel’s theories and the mind-bending art that came from his obsessive depictions of the Kunstformen der Natur, or Art Forms in Nature, which Haeckel published in 1904.