Saturday, June 28, 2014

NUDISM Naturism: German Postcards 1900 ~ 1930s

The history of the "ubermensch" dates to the beginning of the 19th century in rural Germany, pre-Nietzche, focusing on the notions of natural living. A rush of innovations and the the rethinking of "the superman" concept in German society at the beginning of the 20th century, also awoke interest in "naturism" among advocates, supporting it (literally) at the grass roots level. These were not politicians but what might be referred to today as "back to nature", nudist hippie types.

Lacking the academic chops to explain in a short paragraph, the arc of 150 years from 1800 to the rekindling at the turn-of-the-twentieth century, the naturist movement in Germany had its champions. Not just the nudists and vegetarian "back to the land" practitioners, but also writers, publishers, visual artists, athletes, performers and modern dancers as well. 

Included here are samples from a large collection of postcards displaying images of the "uberfrau", nubile German women show in idyllic natural settings or posed in studio creations 

Click any image to enlarge

Artwork by Fidus

Thursday, June 26, 2014

CLANDESTINE American Erotic Books circa 1920s ~ 1950s

What could be called a tradition in the publishing of American illicit erotica can be referred to as the three Ps: the purloining and plagiarizing of (uncopyrighted) pornography. With that in mind, a majority of the erotica published in the states from the 1920s to 1950s originated in Europe and was "freely" reprinted. At the time, nearly all erotica for the masses was published clandestinely and sold illegally without copyright protect and therefore subject to the whims of "pirate" publishers.

In the "normal" contemporary environment I would find this appalling. However at a time when there was so little American erotica in existence, without the borrowing and out right stealing of previously published books, there would be very little of what resides in the canon of America erotica from this period. Remember this was prior to Lolita, Ulysses, Lady Chatterly and the interdictions bought against the writers and publishers of those books, all later to be challenged in courts of law and overturned. 

In effect, although not adding to the bibliography of erotic literature, these books are significant remnants of the demi-monde. In a way a type of folk art, influenced by the need to work secretively, both in the (re)creation and printing of the books. In most cases these books are not beautifully made, printed on inexpensive papers, while simultaneously possessing a distinctive charm. Posted here from deep in the archives is a selection of pirated books, reprints of classic texts and a few anonymous publications, most without redeeming social value. Smut for smut's sake! "I know it when I see it" Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart

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Beautifully batiked, deco style boards on the cover of the 
Merry Order of St.Bridget


Tipped-in original photograph (actually a photo of a photo in keeping with the notion of plagiarizing!) and illustration randomly added to the book.

Another edition of Padlocks & Girdles

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Marilyn Monroe Magazine Covers 1950s ~ 1960s

Marilyn maintains an never ending fascination for film fans, celebrity lovers, conspiracy theorists and just about everyone else. Posted here are images from deep in my archives of her appearing on the covers of magazines. The European magazines are very scarce, a few quite rare. The Japanese example I've only had one copy, thus very rare!

Click any image to enlarge

French pressbook (ad slicks, promo material) for the film Marilyn

On the set of the Misfits with Arthur Miller

French rarities Regal 44 and 45

Paperback book for the film Gentleman Prefer Blondes