Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Strange Sources of Music- Giant Ukulele 1926

Click to Enlarge
Miss Una Fleming from L.A. with her five-foot ukulele is featured on page 55 of the March 1926 issue of Popular Science Magazine. The photo is surreal - the giant ukulele dwarfs the player. Hawaiian coconut ukuleles are also featured (bottom right) as well as a jazzy clown one-man band (bottom left).
1926 was the peak year of the American ukulele boom. I wonder how many other magazines published articles on ukes that year? C.F. Martin produced 10,870 ukes in 1925 and a whopping 14,101 ukes in 1926. Production dropped off in 1927 to less than half of that. (1943,1949 and 1950 were also fairly large production years.) It's a trendy little instrument, falling in and out of favor.
The ukulele is back in favor again in 2010.
(Thanks, Ted Dawson for sending me the article.)

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Bee-Keepers 1568 by Pieter Bruegel The Elder

The Bee-Keepers 1568 by Pieter Bruegel, Berlin (click to enlarge)
This surreal image is for Mark Frauenfelder who writes about backyard beekeeping in his new book "Made By Hand". Yesterday, I bought a huge book of drawings by Pieter Bruegel the Elder (Ludwig Munz, Phaidon Publishers, 1961). It is absolutely fascinating.
This is one of the drawings.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Josef Frank on Google

Josef Frank, an Austrian/Swedish architect, engineer and textile designer was born today. Google is celebrating and I am applauding. Here's a

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Decorated bike and rider

Reminds me of the vintage Rose Parade postcards
(Portland) with floats of roses.
Excellent bike decoration and bee costume!

Myriam Eykens' Figures

Tenderly- Terra Cotta

I like these sculptures by Belgian artist Myriam Eykens:
(Thanks, artinconnu flickr set)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Harvey Pekar Died Today

Maybe you saw this film of Harvey Pekar's life (with an unforgettable performance by Paul Giamatti) or maybe you read his autobiographical comic book: "American Splendor". His stories were illustrated by many artists including R. Crumb.
Rest in peace, Harvey. Wikipedia link.