Thursday, 26 March 2009

The Picture Show

'The Picture Show' is another great find from the ever-amazing Norman.

A huge scrapbook, dated 1925, filled to the brim with images of the stars of the era. This was the height of Hollywood's silent movie age - a time where cinema became enormously popular, and the public became fascinated with movie stars for the very first time. 

There's no trace of the identity of the original owner - but whoever he or she was, they were clearly obsessed with the beauty and glamour of the silver screen. The book is packed with incredible images - and many of them have been 'enhanced' by the owner. Photographs have been cut out of magazines, decorative borders have been glued or painted around them, and many of them have been 'colorized' with watercolour paints. There's even some crazy decoupage, taking original shots and adding scraps and painting to make new scenarios.

The book is clearly a labour of love, as hours of work has gone into it - and the movies featured span at lease five years - it must have been a major undertaking.

I find the combination of the slightly naive handpainted work and the high glamour of the photos incredibly interesting. It adds a human touch to the images, and gives you the real feeling of one person's absolute passion for their movie idols.






I'm loving Clara Bow in these last two shots - there's something very fresh and modern about her that makes her jump off the page to me. The pictures could almost be used in a fashion editorial today with no adjustments. It's interesting that she was the very first celebrity to be dubbed an 'It Girl" - a phrase now that has been horribly degraded and overused. Looking at these photographs - you can totally see that she had 'it' in abundance.

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