Filed Under: "1950s"

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?

Richard Myrle Buckley was born 108 years ago today in Tuolumne, CA. He later self-applied the deferential appellation Lord and became a fixture on the New York jazz nightclub scene, transforming into what his biographer Michael Monteleone described as “a strange but intriguing mix of a proper English peer of the realm and a street corner jive hipster.” He played the Vaudeville circuit, was friends with gangster Al Capone, appeared on The Tonight Show, married six…

Continue Reading... Hipsters, Flipsters …

More current activity in the Florasphere (see Part 1 here): We’re preparing several new fine art prints for release, including a Mambo For Cats giclée (the oversized screen print sold out last year, but the Mambo mini remains available). Above is a mockup of a proposed print that might make it into 2013’s release queue. Our Tokyo-based Floraphile friend Takashi Okada has compiled and designed The Raymond Scott Songbook, a magnificent two-CD set of vintage and rare Scott recordings…

Continue Reading... Too Much Information – Part 2

… is purely coincidental. Jim Flora, untitled and unpublished tempera draft, mid-1950s: The Magnetic Fields, 2012:

Continue Reading... any similarity between …

summer fun

July 6, 2012

Illustration detail, “What is Automation,” Collier’s magazine, March 16, 1956. The optimistic take: “Automation has been heralded by some as the threshold to a new Utopia, in which robots do all the work while human drones recline in pneumatic bliss.” There was a counterbalancing pessimistic view, but in observance of the current summer heat wave, we’ll stick with the sunshinier forecast.  We’re still looking forward to consumer helicopters with open-air cockpits.

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The Fourth of July

July 4, 2012

The work isn’t titled, and there’s no specific reference to Independence Day, but this unpublished 1990s acrylic on canvas suggests celebratory patriotism and civic pride, so we’ll offer it as tribute to our nation’s founding 236 years ago today. P.S. This non sequitur works too. Illustration from The Fabulous Firework Family, Flora’s first (1955) children’s book.

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The Picasso of Jazz

June 17, 2012

Thanks to Clayton Walter for a nice little Flora gallery at his Claytonology blog: “I think of Flora as the Picasso of Jazz; his other-worldly depictions of Jazz musicians capture perfectly the vibe of a certain era of the music—brash, swingin’ and full of ecstatic movement. There’s another side to Flora as well. If you look closely at his LP illustrations, beyond the exciting flash,  you see a cunning method to his cartoonish madness.”

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traffic snarls

March 5, 2012

Miserable pedestrian—what part of “beep” don’t you understand? Untitled, unfinished tempera on board (detail), 1950s. Purpose unknown.

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Jim Flora 2012 Calendars

October 19, 2011

Those perennial favorite Jim Flora calendars are in stock for 2012. You’ve got your bug-eyed saxophonist, an Aren’t-We-Having-Fun? moon, and a manic drummer to guide you through the coming Leap Year. These are hand-printed mini-calendars measuring 10″ x 4-1/2″.  If you prefer something of greater magnitude in a maritime motif, our Sheffield Island poster-sized calendar should suit your tastes:

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electromechanical design

October 9, 2011

Spot illustration, promotional brochure for trade journal Electromechanical Design: Components and Systems, 1957. Flora illustrated a number of covers for the monthly from 1957 to 1960.

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road rage (1958)

September 26, 2011

The miserable family road trip. Commercial spot illustration, 1958, magazine and subject unknown. Pen & ink and watercolor on artist board. Three additional thematically unrelated spot illos were arrayed on the board.

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Jim Flora Art has launched a new limited edition fine art print: INSIDE SAUTER-FINEGAN, a 1954 RCA Victor LP that features one of Flora’s best-known cover illustrations. Eddie Sauter and Bill Finegan were famous for their orchestral mayhem. While Flora’s mischievous cover figures didn’t physically resemble Eddie or Bill, his caricatures reflected their inventive approach to redefining big band jazz in the 1950s. The print image is larger (15-1/2″ square) than the 12″ square LP….

Continue Reading... Inside Sauter-Finegan (print)
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