Friday, May 02, 2008

Sottsass Pompidou

Elea 1958-1963

Elea 1958-1960

Elea 1958-1960 a

Elea 1958-1963 a

Télescripteur, 1963

Télescripteur, 1963 c

MC 24, 1964

Machine à écrire portative, 1964-1965

Dictaphone, 1968

Dictaphone, 1968 a

Monumento di senape, 1968(vers)

Affiche Olivetti DomusLife, 1969

Affiche Valentine, 1969

Lettera 36, 1970 a

Il pianeta come festival, 1973 a

Il pianeta come festival, 1973 b

Il pianeta come festival, 1973 c

Il pianeta come festival, 1973 d

Bibliothèque, 1984

Meuble, 1993

{All images © the Estate of Ettore Sottsass}

"It would not be difficult to find yourself living a life shaped almost entirely by Ettore Sottsass, the greatest Italian designer of the last half century, who has died in Milan aged 90. So many everyday things could bring you into an intimate physical connection with his work and his constantly inventive mind. At home, the bed, the bath, as well as the taps, and the door handle, and the door itself, could all have been designed by him. So could the dining table, the book shelves, and the kitchen furniture. At work, there are plenty of Sottsass-designed desks and chairs, lights and light switches to choose from. There are knifes and forks and spoons and glasses and plates and cups that go on selling in their thousands all designed by Sottsass. And if you happened to live in Milan, even the airport has a Sottsass interior, though Malpensa is not, it has to be said, the most successful of his projects.

All of these, and countless other artefacts large and small, from television sets, to precious glassware, from fashion shops for Esprit, to calculators for Olivetti, are all the product of Sottsass, and his team, the most productive, and one of the most influential design studios Italy has ever produced." [The Guardian obit continues]

If I admit to my complete ignorance about the existence of Ettore Sottsass (1917-2007) until a day or so ago, I do so bolstered by the knowledge that it was my own good taste that honed in on his wonderful design sketches as I skimmed through the digital offerings at Centre Pompidou. (click below '60,000 art works' and then good luck searching) However, he may not be so pleased with the quality of web architecture that now houses in the vicinity of four hundred of his original design drawings (plus photographs of some of his creations).

All of the portrait images above are full size. There are slightly larger versions of the landscape shots if you click through. I saved all of the above plus some more in this flickr set. I've been having some hard disk problems lately and my normal machine is at the doctors, so it's actually a blessing, while relying on this old laptop, to be dealing with smaller images. I'm expecting a return to the faster machine in the next couple of days. (I did manage to lose about two hundred hard-won bookmarks in the process of readying the machine for the shop. Oh well. They were saved more in the way of 'moral support' than as the intended backbone of future posts, more or less.)
[Sottsass Pompidou will definitely be the stripper name for my alter ego in the great unwritten western - kung fu - science fiction - love story, planned for next decade.]

Monday, April 28, 2008

Renaissance Era Costumes

India AND Olmec (MesoAmerica)

India AND Olmec* (Mesoamerica)


Assyria, Arabia, Croatia
Assyria, Arabia, Croatia

Assyria, Arabia, Croatia a
Assyria, Arabia, Croatia


Italian costumes

Northern Greece, Ethiopia and Tatar people national costumes
Northern Greece, Ethiopia and Ta(r)tar* people


Russia, Poland, Finland, Lapland, Croatia
Russia, Poland, Finland, Lapland, Croatia

Russia, Poland, Finland, Moscow, Lapland, Croatia (a)
Russia, Poland, Finland, Moscow, Lapland, Croatia

The Orient
The Orient


Turkey a


Greece, Tartar peoples, Iraq, Saracen peoples
Greece, Ta(r)tar peoples, Iraq, Saracen* peoples

'Kostüme der Männer und Frauen in Augsburg und Nürnberg, Deutschland, Europa, Orient und Afrika - BSB Cod.icon. 341' at Bayerischen Staatsbibliothek contains around three hundred hand-painted national costumes produced in the 16th century.

The anonymous manuscript was probabaly created in Augsburg and seems to be one of a very few similar works from around the same time period. There are a couple of scanned pages attached to Cod.icon 341 in German (one, two) with some contextual background - that I can't read of course - but that's about the extent of online references.

The captions above are the rough chapter - country - translations with a little modernising and, in the interests of avoiding any unintended international incidents, should probably be taken with a grain of salt. All the images above were extensively background cleaned which was totally a waste of time. If your model chooses to match red boots with a green and pink silk-lined cape, it's an exercise in futility believing that that ensemble can be saved by any amount of tweaking at the margins. [via Marion McNealy]

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