Monday, September 5, 2011
Another Postcard by the Great Ellen Clapsaddle (Postmarked Nov. 1, 1910--Reading, PA)
"1910 Antique Halloween Post Card with anthropomorphic walking Cabbages, signed Ellen H. Clapsaddle, Series No 978, International Art Publishing New York, Berlin Printed in Germany, Condition: creases to middle and at corner."
One thing you learn fairly quickly when looking at antique Halloween postcards is that Ellen Clapsaddle is just the Queen of Halloween postcards in that debut de siecle period.
Her work is consisently imaginative, charming, and memorable.
The whimsy of Halloween is understood and translated into images worthy of being turned into framed wall art.
Who would imagine cabbages would make a great Halloween theme! But here they do! It's very Invasion of the Body Snatchers--long before that work existed. But a sweet version of that sort of creature! This is really a Halloween Valentine!! I didn't realize the genre existed. But it's definitely a "wooing" postcard.
I love the way she used that plaid visual theme at the top to really just totally make the colors pop in this one.
I don't think her work has received widespread attention yet from those industrious people who raid public domain works and capitalize on reproducing the popular and quotidian "forgotten art" of the so-called "minor artists" most deserving of nostalgiac attention.
Because I can't see Clapsaddle not being one of those artists.
I could see her pieces taking off the way Steinlen's work (of course, his cats) has been enjoying a renewed vogue for decades already.
Alas, this little postcard spent Halloween night in the Reading post office.
It's postmarked All Saint's Day, November 1st, so it just missed the Halloween bullseye!