Dating postcards backs

Practically every festive motif of the holiday calender is depicted here: idyllic winter scenes, Easter eggs, holly, decorative initials and borders, horseshoes, shamrocks, chicks, cupids, cherubs, four-leaf clovers, turkeys, and bushels of bouquets of posies.

Along with the holiday-themed artwork, the sentiments that went along with the occasion are often expressed in clever verse on the card.

Acquisition has been mainly through donations from hobbyists and travelers, but the department has historically sought ways to harvest ephemeral material of this kind; librarians on foreign or domestic travels, for instance, were encouraged to buy and add postcards to the collection.

The Picture Collection holds an equally comprehensive collection of holiday greeting cards dating from the 1930s through the present.

Spanning from the 1870's throughthe first three decades of the 20th Century, this collection of postcards depictsa "landscape of the imagination" based on American national observances and holidays.

Instead of buildings, monuments, or natural wonders, think Easter bunnies, Christmas trees and jack-o-lanterns, and red, white and blue bunting.

Colors extend past the palettes associatedwith contemporary holidays, and themes include technologies such as theairplane and the radio alongside animals, bells, children, dancing, dogs,and Egyptians.

Decorative flourishes of feathers, glitter and ribbons framemessages in elegant Art Deco typographies.

Typically short expressions of goodwill to loved ones, postcard messages obviated the need for long letters or holiday visits, and in this respect they can be easily compared to contemporary methods of fast communication like e-mail and text messaging.Artists and illustrators represented in the collection include Ellen Clapsaddle, Frances Brundage, and Maud Humphrey, among others.Practically every festive motif of the holiday calender is depicted: idyllic winter scenes, Easter eggs, holly, decorative initials and borders, horseshoes, shamrocks, chicks, cupids, cherubs, four-leaf clovers, turkeys, and bushels of bouquets of posies.With postage rates at a penny a card, thedemand was insatiable.The Picture Collection's holdings from this periodshowcase the imaginations of the prolific Ellen Clapsaddle and children'sbook illustrators Frances Brundage and Maud Humphrey (the mother of Humphrey Bogart), among others.

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