Mambo for Kittens

August 11, 2017

Music critic Dan Armonaitis: Sound Observations: I’ve been looking after a jumpin’, rockin’, screamin’ cat “Having volunteered to take care of a kitten for a friend who was traveling, I thought the feline might provide a muse as I struggled to come up with something to write about for this column. But every time I tried to focus on a possible topic, she’d hop in my lap and distract me with her soft fur, warm purr…

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Letter from Jim to his longtime friend Gene Deitch, 1972

Continue Reading... “It will be a great pleasure to pinch your claw”

We recently discovered this Camden 7″ EP that might very well feature an overlooked Flora cover. The catalog number, CAE-138, dates the release to 1954, during which Flora designed 18 covers for RCA Victor, ten of them 7″ EPs for RCA’s Camden budget subsidiary (two of which were for the Festival Concert Orchestra, a generic name for an aggregate of stellar musicians who were under contract to other labels). Some were credited to or signed…

Continue Reading... newly discovered Flora cover?

Crosby Classics

March 2, 2016

We’re grateful to Jeffrey Ferguson, who alerted us to this previously overlooked early Flora cover. Based on the catalog number (M-555) and some internet research, this cover dates from 1944, which would make it the earliest known illustrated Jim Flora cover. Though unsigned, the tiger-striped typography and horseback rider point to Flora as the artistic culprit. In 1944 he was art director of Columbia, which was issuing back catalog in 78 folio format owing to…

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At JimFlora.com we’re issuing our first new limited edition fine art print in over a year. Spectators, an uncirculated 1940s-era tempera, depicts a phantasmagoria of grotesque faces, with stray limbs. This work has not previously been reproduced or published anywhere. The original is owned by Flora’s godson, Keith McAllister, of California, who granted us permission to professionally photograph the work and issue it as a limited edition print.  Only twenty-five (25) prints of Spectators were…

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WGXC Celebrates Four

February 13, 2015

Our good friend and fellow Floraphile Jillian Leigh Sutton, a DJ at WGCX in Hudson, New York, passes along this Florafied invitation: Brian Dewan, who will be presenting one of his wry original filmstrips, is also a good friend and a member of the Raymond Scott Orchestrette. If you’re in the area, go and enjoy yourself while supporting a good cause – regardless of whether you have bonus legs or just the requisite two.

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Illustration, Columbia Records new popular-release weekly trade mailer Hit of the Week, August 1942, promoting clarinet-tooting bandleader Benny Goodman’s new single, “I’ve Got a Gal in Kalamazoo.” At the time, Flora was working in the Columbia art department under then-Art Director Alex Steinweiss. Another illustration from this series of ads can be viewed here.

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Flora “Rhapsody (in Blue)“ wallpaper by Astek and Double-E featured on the Babyccino blog: Writes Pim’s mom Esther: Last weekend, my husband and I did something new for both of us: we wallpapered a wall. We learned a lot about measuring, cutting, and patience, and got to deeply respect the skills of professional wallpaperers. But after hard labour I’m proud to present the results: the wall behind Pim’s bed is covered in gorgeous blue wallpaper!…

Continue Reading... Pim’s bed and Flora wallpaper

We’ve posted a series of photos of Floraphiles sporting skin art. We neglected this one—actually more than one—sent by Kelly Kimball in 2010. Multiple camera angles required to view the entire anatomical exhibition: As best we can discern, the details are derived from Mambo for Cats, the Little Man Press, and The FCC’s Expanding Demanding Universe, though there might be other sources. If you missed our prior Flora skin art posts: Fresh Ink and Flora…

Continue Reading... Flora tattoo #5 (and 6, 7, 8, etc.)

Another Flora album cover—although in this case the product is digital-only. The illustration originally appeared in the December 1945 issue of Columbia’s Coda new-release monthly, which Flora wrote, edited, and illustrated for three years. The detail was adapted for this digital album cover by Flora co-archivist Irwin Chusid, who also represents the Sun Ra estate. The album is available at iTunes. Flora’s album cover legacy has extended into the 21st century, with designers adapting his images…

Continue Reading... Sun Ra: Solo Piano (a la Flora)
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  • The Mischievous and Diabolic art of James Flora (1914-1998). Glimpses of rare works from the archives and news about Flora-related projects.

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