Readers Vintage People on Photo Postcards
Author: Tom Phillips
Publisher/Date: United Kingdom: Bodleian Library, University of Oxford (c. 2011) First edition. Series: Photo Postcards from the Tom Phillips Archive
Format/Condition: New hardcover book in Fine condition. 112 pages. Dimensions: 7 x 7.5 inches. Profusely illustrated with 200 black-and-white images.
Description: This book of picture postcards from a century ago captures special moments in time and place and is a wonderful social history record. "Readers," as its title suggests, shows people reading (or pretending to read) a wide variety of material, from the Bible to Film Fun, either in the photographer’s studio, in their own home, or on vacation on the beach. The images are captivating visual vignettes. We may not know who the subjects are, but the postcards offer us a rich glimpse of forgotten times and of people of their time, their interests and their world. "Readers" also offers a look at the fashions of bygone eras.
To celebrate the acquisition of the archive of distinguished artist Tom Phillips, the Bodleian Library asked the artist to assemble and design a series of books drawing on his themed collection of over 50,000 photographic postcards. These encompass the first half of the twentieth century, a period in which, thanks to the ever cheaper medium of photography, ordinary people could afford to purchase their own portraits. These portraits allowed individuals to create and embellish their own self images, presenting themselves as they wished to be seen within the trends and social mores of their time. Each book in the series contains two hundred images chosen from a visually rich vein of social history.