Friday, May 4, 2012

National Post Card Week

In the spirit of discussing Edward Gorey's personal correspondence in the previous two postings, I thought it would be fitting to look at the images he created for National Post Card Week. This year, National Post Card Week is May 6 through May 12.

National Post Card Week began in 1984 with the idea that the International Federation of Postcard Dealers and different clubs would create and send cards to celebrate the postcard and promote postcard collecting as a hobby.

From 1984 to 1996, Edward Gorey created a series of postcards celebrating NPW for Gotham Book Mart. The cards announced an annual exhibition of postcards at the gallery and invited recipients to a cocktail party to mark the opening.
The thirteen cards created by Mr. Gorey featured highly detailed artwork which was sometimes printed in black and white, while others were printed in blue and black. Each year, the cards were sold individually by Gotham. They were also available in signed/numbered limited editions. The 1984 card was limited to 30 signed pieces, while the remaining years were limited to 50. I do not have an image for card #13, which shows a seance, but will post am image when I get one.

Many of these images are familiar today because they have been issued as note cards and post cards with the wording and dates removed.

The most unusual image created for this series is the 1989 Golliwogg Cart card. Edward Gorey was a lover of stuffed toys and bears, and the Golliwogg featured on this card is no doubt inspired by toy versions of this intriguing character. Still, it was an unusual choice by Mr. Gorey for an image.

 Making his first appearance in an 1895 British children's book entitled  The Adventures of Two Dutch Dolls and a Golliwogg by Florence Kate Upton, the Golliwogg was initially described as a malevolent gnome. In subsequent stories, he quickly became a friendly figure, similar to Raggady Andy. Ms. Upton did not trademark her character, and soon "Golliwog" or "Golli" became the name for any doll or toy with a similar ethnic look. British makers of sweets and marmalade were still using Gollys on packaging well into the 1980's, after which time it was considered an inappropriate and derogatory image.

4 comments: said...

Wonderful! I have quite a few of these postcards in my collection.

Jan said...

I am going to mention this post on my blog. Thank you!

Henry said...

There appears to be an upside down black doll as the hood ornament for the Golliwog's car!

ampootozote said...

That little guy shows up everywhere!