Monday, 20 September 2010
Cacti and the Color woodblockprint; 1/3
In 1931 the Verkade bisquit company released their new Album “Cactussen” (Cacti). Between 1903-1940 almost every year a new album was created. Hugely popular and thus a great marketing success. In the Netherlands. The albums had to be stocked with cards. Some 130 of them, often little gems. To be obtained with the products of the Verkade company. Ofcourse. My parents and grandparents collected them and filled the albums. Everybody did. Good quality bisquits. I grew up with them. Bisquits and albums. Highly collectable once. In the 1960-1990’s. You can pick them up at any secondhand bookshop for scratch now because of large editions (not to good paper) and low interest nowadays. Ikea and Playstation ruling.
Besides the very good writers (naturalists and specialists) some exceptionally good artist attributed their lives to the albums. Jan Voerman Jzn. (1890-1967, son of renowned Dutch landscape and river painter Jan Voerman sr. (1857-1941), Cornelis Rol (1877-1963) and his son Henricus Rol (1906-1992).
Generations have been taught and educated by these albums. Often lifelong interests were awoken.. The Cacti album made me grow and collect cacti. The aquarium volume my inspiration to my first guppy fishtank. The birds volume to my love of birds and watching them. I even started my family and career on an Island: there are two great North-Sea Islands volumes.
This is a good introduction to my next two scheduled postings. I started this blog after-all because of flowers and woodblock prints. In this introduction I show the black and white “in between and page fillers” of the Cacti Album. These pictures by father and son Rol. And some of Jan Voerman Jr.'s colored renderings of the night flowering cacti.
Cacti and the genus Epiphylum (or leaf-cacti, and not really cacti) became “high fashion” in the Arts and Crafts period and not only in the Netherlands. Huge collections were build and most of them destroyed during WWII. No heating the glasshouses. For their oriental and exotic background and for their shapes, form and huge flowers. Just like, palms, ferns, nasturtiums and morning glories. Peacock and egret's feathers. And seaweeds.
In part 2/3 I’ll show Cacti on color prints by some Dutch and German printers and in Cacti 3/3 the rest of the World. All that I could find. Black and white amateur cacti-prints are innumerable. These printings will have wait until part 4/4 (.........)
If you're interested in the albums see: http://verkade.clubs.nl/ .
For Jan Voerman Jr. and Sr. just Google "pictures".
You are invited to leave a reaction in the comment-section if this posting gave you some agreable or pleasing moments.