1930s Soviet Propaganda Porcelain

This Soviet-era porcelain vase commemorating the North Pole -1 expedition is pretty accurate: four men and a dog named Vesely were dropped off on a drifting ice floe about 12 miles from the North Pole in May, 1937. By the time they were picked up (at great cost) off of Greenland in February, 1938, the…… Continue reading 1930s Soviet Propaganda Porcelain

Sometimes, the Jazz Age becomes Archaeology

This artifact, likely a brooch, depicts a 1920s-era flapper, cloche hat and all. It was found at an archaeological site in Jersey City, New Jersey. This and the many other artifacts found during excavation of a series of former houses, most demolished by the 1930s, provide a glimpse of the middle class families who lived…… Continue reading Sometimes, the Jazz Age becomes Archaeology

The Archaeologist on the River Kwai

Cyler Conrad writes about Dutch archaeologist Hendrik Robert van Heekeren, who after being captured by the Japanese during World War II, managed to collect prehistoric artifacts while a prisoner-of-war forced to work on the infamous Bridge on the River Kwai in Thailand: An Archaeologist on the Railroad of┬áDeath. van Heekeren was born in Java in…… Continue reading The Archaeologist on the River Kwai

Dinosaur and Mosasaur Art from 1930s New Jersey: Alfred Poledo

I just posted about WPA-era posters created for the U.S. National Parks. One of the great successes of the Depression-era New Deal was how it provided jobs for all Americans, including artists who created lasting works of art like these Post Office murals. Another beneficiary was the Rutgers Geology Museum. In 1936, the Works Progress…… Continue reading Dinosaur and Mosasaur Art from 1930s New Jersey: Alfred Poledo

The Ranger Doug Who Saves Vintage National Park Posters

There’s a new New York Times article on “Ranger Doug” Leen (not to be confused with the other Ranger Doug), a dentist and former park ranger, who rediscovered, preserved, and now recreates 1930s-era National Park posters created by WPA artists. In the 1930s, posters for 14 parks, including the Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, and the Grand…… Continue reading The Ranger Doug Who Saves Vintage National Park Posters

One-Take Woody: Behind the Scenes Photos of Classic Movies

Director W.S. Van Dyke had a reputation for getting things right the first time. Two movies he directed in the 1920s were shot on location in Tahiti. For Trader Horn (1931), he spent seven months filming in East Africa. His best known movies, however, are The Thin Man (he also directed three of the sequels),…… Continue reading One-Take Woody: Behind the Scenes Photos of Classic Movies

Archaeology at Petra 1929

The site of Petra in Jordan had been a tourist destination for almost a century when two British archaeologists, George Horsfield and Agnes Conway, arrived in what was then called the British Mandate Transjordan. Petra 1929 transcribes the field journal of their excavations in and around the Nabataean city. The Treasury at Petra from Al…… Continue reading Archaeology at Petra 1929

“Tall, Dark, and Tweedy”: Jazz Age Artist John Held Jr. was also an archaeological illustrator – and a World War I spy

In the 1920s, John Held, Jr., became famous for his drawings in Life, Vanity Fair, and other magazines that enshrined the iconic flapper image: lean and leggy, with beaded necklace swinging as she danced the Charleston with her companion, the round-headed, pencil-necked, Joe College. The “tall, dark and tweedy” (Shuttleworth 1965) artist had come to…… Continue reading “Tall, Dark, and Tweedy”: Jazz Age Artist John Held Jr. was also an archaeological illustrator – and a World War I spy