Tag Archives: Inspiration Vault

Forbidden and Filthy Love Letters of Yore

Forbidden and Filthy Love Letters of Yore
The Love Letter by Jean-Honoré Fragonard

We don’t mean to put a damper on Valentine’s Day, but the chances of most of us receiving an actual love letter this year are slim to none. These days, text messaging and multiple social media platforms have seen to it that emojis come before real emotions, but today we’d like to pay tribute to hand-written romance as it becomes increasingly rare. With any luck, it might just inspire some of us to put pen to paper. From the forbidden to the filthy, these are best of a lost art…

James Joyce’s “Filthy Letters”

James Joyce, author of the epic novel, Ulysses, was the kind of man who, in 1920s Paris, would get drunk, start fights, and then hide behind Ernest Hemingway … Read the rest

Who’s Afraid of Adolf Wölfli?

Who’s Afraid of Adolf Wölfli?

Some artists leave us tangled legacies– reputations tied up in creative theft, family feuds and unresolved estates. Others, like Adolf Wölfli, leave us a veritable Pandora’s Box for consideration. At a glance, Wölfli’s work oozes the sentiments of Psychedelic art; its kaleidoscopic swirls of colour look fresh off the Haight Ashbury, circa 1967. In truth, they’re the relics of a man orphaned in the 1800s, whose life was bookended by the abuse he both received and committed, and whose days were spent incarcerated at a Swiss mental hospital with schizophrenia.… Read the rest

Hiding Homosexuality on the Cover of America’s Magazines a Century Ago

Hiding Homosexuality on the Cover of America’s Magazines a Century Ago

One of the first things you’ll start to notice about Joe Christian Leyendecker’s work is that his women were never quite as good-looking as his men, who were devastatingly handsome. He gave us the elegance of Gatsby 20 years before F. Scott Fitzgerald had even invented him. Take a moment to observe the dashing man on the stairs, who couldn’t be showing less interest in the girl standing below him in the provocative pink slip dress.… Read the rest

Can We Talk About Dali’s Amazing Sell-Out Era?

Can We Talk About Dali’s Amazing Sell-Out Era?

“Then the Alka Seltzer shoots into the stomach!” are words you might not expect to hear from Salvador Dali from the comfort of your own living room. Yet, for anyone with a television in the 1960s and ’70s, the Surrealist legend also became a staple of the small screen, sharing his abounding, rehearsed excitement for ads about chocolate, and ink wells; airline companies and  cures for indigestion. Naturally, critics and creatives lost it.… Read the rest

Dream Catching at the Ends of the Earth in the Name of Art

Dream Catching at the Ends of the Earth in the Name of Art

© KAHN & SELESNICK

Some minds are cornucopias; sources of creative ephemera. Such is the case for artists and photographers Nicholas Kahn and Richard Selesnick, a dream team bringing fairytales to life for the new millennium.Read the rest

Amsterdam is Turning its Bridge Houses into Tiny Hotels

Amsterdam is Turning its Bridge Houses into Tiny Hotels

© Mirjam Bleeker, courtesy of SWEETS hotel

Well that’s it for me. I’ll never stay in a normal hotel in Amsterdam again now that 28 of the city’s bridge houses have been transformed into charming little hotel rooms. For over a century, these canalside gate houses accommodated the storied bridge keepers whose task it was to conduct the city’s water traffic and allow boats to pass.Read the rest