Last weekend, Gerald and I took a summer road trip and photostroll through southwest Georgia — with stops in Andersonville and Americus.
Andersonville is a sobering place: “The deadliest ground of the American Civil War.” Further:
Nearly 13,000 men died on these grounds, a site that became infamous even before the Civil War ended. Their burial grounds became Andersonville National Cemetery, where veterans continue to be buried today. This place, where tens of thousands suffered captivity so others could be free, is also home to the National Prisoner of War Museum and serves as a memorial to all American prisoners of war.
National Park Service
We just visited the National Cemetery section of the park, with its closely-spaced Civil War graves, memorials, and reminders that it’s still in use today.
Later, we headed just down the road to the small city of Americus:
Both galleries — Andersonville and Americus — have been updated with new photographs. The new items start with “2022,” and remember that clicking on any photograph starts a slide show for that gallery. Thank you!
As promised, I returned to Madison, Georgia, to complete the gallery my camera battery didn’t permit last time. Special thanks to Gerald, who accompanied me around the beautiful downtown historic district and on the lovely drive from here to there.
This round is mostly details, taken with my stunning new Leica APO lens. (Introduced in this Macon post.) The whole line has been discontinued, so I am incredibly glad to have gotten one while they’re still available — every single photograph shows just how good this lens is. I’ll try to do it justice:
I’ve revamped the gallery with the new shots mixed in with the old. Several are improved versions of shots taken last time, meaning those were deleted in favor of the new ones.
132 Madison photographs have been posted in all. Peruse and enjoy; remember to click on any individual photograph to start a slide show, and if you’d like, click “buy” to get options for fine art prints in a variety of sizes and finishes. Thank you!
Car site The Autopian scores with book design, Ford posts old marketing material gold mine, and more on the Eames Institute of Infinite Curiosity in this edition of Beautifully Briefed.
Autopian suggests book design
The Autopian, founded by a couple of former Jalopnik writers, is a new automotive gem: in these days of more-of-the-sameism sites trying to make money of others’ ideas, the Autopian has a retro style and interesting, original content.
Including this short post from their Cold Start column:
Sometimes you may encounter an old car ad and realize that the design of it could lend itself very well to something completely different. In this case, this 1958 Ford Zodiac ad, with its rich, saturated colors, striking dress on the model, and evocative name with understated typography just feel like something you’d see on modern book cover design.
Jason Torchinsky, Autopian Founder
His book design idea “realized”:
The Ford Heritage Vault
Ford has taken the unusual step of posting a good chunk of their old — 1903 to 2003, their first 100 years — marketing materials online: “promotional materials, photographs, and all kinds of other historical goodies,” according to CarScoops.
“Our archives were established 70 years ago, and for the first time, we’re opening the vault for the public to see. This is just a first step for all that will come in the future,” says Ted Ryan, Ford archive and heritage brand manager.
Here’s a personal favorite: the 1965 full line brochure, showing the cars set in architectural drawings — presumably, matching the car to the house:
We discussed the Eames Institute of Infinite Curiosity back in April, but Metropolis magazine has published an extensive article covering a visit to the Institute.
Modernism has largely been diluted from a series of ideas rooted in social change to one of just style—Instagram moments, if you will. The Eameses insisted that they did not have a style or even an “ism.” […] Modernism was an idea, not a style. With the establishment of the Eames Institute, I hope Charles and Ray will be remembered most of all for their ideas and processes.
Kenneth Caldwell, Metropolis
With our ongoing struggle to use materials more efficiently, many of the Eameses’ ideas and ideals need to be taken for the solutions that they are: style with incredible substance.
Three items for the end of June, 2022: AIA Los Angeles announces photography awards, the 2022 edition of the Logo Lounge logo trends report is out, and Buick makes its new logo official. Let’s get into the details.
AIALA Photography Awards
The Los Angeles chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA|LA) has announced this year’s winners of the annual Architectural Photography Awards, and there’s some pretty great stuff:
[W]hile there are still corporate-looking marks being crafted there is a stronger effort to find ways to identify products that are artisanal and handcrafted.
Bill Gardner, Logo Lounge
Corporations trying to be more human. (News at 11.) But then, my use of that particular phrase perhaps betrays my lack of being in touch with the modern corporate world; I think publishing is a different animal, and prefer being part of that world despite the regular influence of corporate entities there, too.
Nonetheless, following logo trends is, from a purely graphic design perspective, worthwhile — and this report summarizes beautifully. Read on.
According to Southern Living magazine, “In Madison, Georgia, you can witness the power of tireless historic preservation efforts and take in the glory of old Southern architecture — from Greek Revival to Victorian, this town showcases all the great architectural styles.” (Read their day trip advice.)
It’s certainly worth taking some time to visit — and for this guy and his camera, the restaurants, shops, stroll-worthy streets, and simply spectacular historic district represent a great opportunity to add to the treasure trove of Georgia architectural photography.
I’m not done, either: I had two lenses with me, but only one battery — which gave out before I could make a round downtown with the second lens. I’ve got another trip through the area scheduled, and will absolutely make the time to return, camera in-hand, to complete the gallery. Stay tuned.
The past couple of days represented a much-needed break from the recent heat wave — an opportunity to get out of the house and celebrate a stunning morning with camera in-hand.
I pass through Madison regularly (it’s along the route from Macon to Athens), and have been meaning to stop and take some photographs for literally years. Today, the first of two parts this week, with more to come soon.
We start at the Madison Morgan Cultural Center and loop through the historic district — and its many, frankly stunning buildings — south of downtown:
There are a few detail shots mixed in, too, like this one from the Presbyterian Church:
See the first 34 photographs in the new gallery. (Remember to double-click on a photograph to see larger.) Next time, downtown. Happy Monday!
FedEx pulled up around 8:30 this morning and dropped off a new lens. (It wasn’t due ’til Tuesday — bonus!) Given that it was an absolutely beautiful morning, I shelved my plans for the day, picked up the camera, and headed downtown.
Verdict? It’s so a keeper. See for yourself:
Wound up with sixty new items posted. However, the downtown Macon gallery was getting almost too big — confusing, even — so has been separated into three parts:
Celebrating the bicentennial of the birth of Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr., known as “the father of landscape architecture”, the Cultural Landscape Foundation has created an ever-growing digital guide of Olmsted’s most notable works.
Of course, the building’s interesting, too, so there’s a good mix of architecture, gardens, architecture from the garden, and — you guessed it — garden architecture:
I enjoyed the visit, and as a result of that visit, added 32 new photographs to the Columbus gallery. (They’re grouped together: “Columbus Museum – Mar22.”) Peruse anytime; purchase if you’d like. Thank you!
Three completely unrelated items for you this time, ranging from the serious and interesting through the loony and interesting to something of a whole different stripe.
The Eames Institute of Infinite Curiosity
Update 2, 25 Apr:Brand New discusses this logo, with the usual catchy title: The Fast and the Curious: Counterspace Drift
Update, 8 Apr: It’s Nice That has more: The Eames Institute launches with a curious, “Eamesian” identity, and a logo that observes
Original post: Practically everyone has heard of an Eames Chair:
What you might not realize is that the legacy Charles and Ray Eames left behind enriches our lives to this day. It’s a shame, then, that while their house is a mid-century masterpiece (and museum), much of their lives have remained behind closed doors.
For almost three decades, a barn-like building in Petaluma, California, contained remnants of one of the most iconic design legacies of the twentieth century. […] We created the Eames Institute because we want you to examine the archive of what you know—the collection of your experiences, understanding, memories, and questions—and connect to the provocations that call to you. We want you to tap into that same fount of relentless curiosity, and its power to shift your perception and open you to innovations and discoveries.
Now, however, there’s the Eames Institute of Infinite Curiosity. Awesome name aside, it introduces us to the more personal side of one of design’s strongest partnerships.
Next time I treat myself to a Loony break, I’m going to make sure to spend some time looking beyond the action and appreciate the backgrounds. Nice.
Condor Airlines Rebrands
Most of you have probably never heard of Condor Airlines; they’re mainly a European thing, a “leisure” airline associated with Thomas Cook, formerly owned and run by Lufthansa. (Here’s some history.)
It doesn’t particularly matter. What does is the bravado exhibited by management. Before, a typical airline logo — dare I say, typically Germanic:
Then someone said yelled, “HEY. WE DO VACATIONS. LIKE BEACH TOWELS. LET’S DO STRIPES.” The result:
The new livery has zero fucks to give and just plasters every plane with thick vertical stripes that go against pretty much every single assumed tenet of what makes a good livery. It doesn’t look speedy, it doesn’t look nimble, it requires a lot of paint, and by all other standards it is just plain ugly and I love it.
Catching up with a few unrelated stories that I’ve been meaning to post — including one pretty significant failure on my part, one potentially significant failure, and because not everything should be about fail, an extremely interesting and thoughtful interview.
Tiny Type Museum Sold Out
I was cleaning up open Safari tabs on my phone the other day — the detritus that results from checking things on the fly when out and about, often or never closed — and noticed that I’d sort-of bookmarked something for action and … missed it. Crap!
The Tiny Type Museum & Time Capsule is a celebration by journalist and printing historian Glenn Fleishman of type and printing, and an effort at preserving history for future generations to re-discover. Each custom, handmade wood museum case holds several dozen genuine artifacts from the past and present, including a paper mold for casting newspaper ads in metal, individual pieces of wood and metal type, a phototype “font,” and a Linotype “slug” (set with a custom message), along with original commissioned art, a letterpress-printed book, and a few replicas of items found in printing shops.
The museum includes a letterpress-printed book written for the project, Six Centuries of Type & Printing, in which Fleishman traces the development of type and printing starting before Gutenberg printed his Bible around 1450 up through the present day. This book acts as “docent” for the museum, providing insight into the stages in technological and artistic development that took place, and explaining the importance and nature of the artifacts. It also slides out neatly as part of a sled from the top of the museum case, and provides the visible name.
The letterpress book is still available: get your copy, or subscribe to the podcast. But even if you don’t, take a moment to appreciate the work that went into this — well done, indeed.
Buick’s New Logo
This one … I dunno. The race to do car logos flat black-and-white has seemed like a race to the lowest common denominator. (See previous coverage of BMW, Volvo, Cadillac, and more.) Below, Buick’s old (left) and new (right) logos, courtesy of Motor1:
Thankfully, there’s been a leak — Instagram, natch, so no link here — demonstrating that it’ll still be in color:
Still, not sure. Will have to see the official announcement and package that goes with it; Motor Trend suggests that it might be part of an EV-only future. Stay tuned for Brand New’s take, I guess….
I think innovation doesn’t come in one huge leap. It’s a series of small steps. Accumulations of small discoveries, followed by incremental implementation. And then it all adds up. Innovation is not a single idea—it’s incredibly incremental and additive. Even these small discoveries can change the way we think about things very quickly. So I think every step of the way—problematizing “what are the issues?” and “what are the solutions?” filtering issues of sustainability, supply chain, accessibility, will eliminate many solutions which are not possible. And then you end up with small nuggets of potential. In a way it’s very systematic, innovation, and so is experimentation. It’s the elimination of what’s not possible and focusing on goals.
You know, history is not about the past, really. History is about the story of an individual interpreting history. Historians cannot be unbiased narrators. Every history is a story, and then yes, there are facts—which are important, but the way you connect facts and then make diverse narratives is super interesting.
As you can see, Fox News provides false narratives, and a lot of times they skew the facts, and that’s a problem. It can be used dangerously, but it can also be used productively. I think that’s what makes history rich. It’s not about the past, it’s about projecting into the future. So when I teach students, I ask them to make their own story based upon their research. But it’s a story—so that’s kind of their own reality. And based upon that reality, they can develop diverse narratives and then communicate the story to others. It’s not as if you have different opinions, but you have different stories to share. It’s not about controversial opinions, but about the way we each look at life very, very differently—and that enriches everybody.
The Ringling Museum in Sarasota, Florida has been a place I’ve been taking photographs since I lived in the area, almost twenty years ago now — and a place where I continue to enjoy taking photographs whenever possible.
The grounds have these amazing banyan trees, with root systems larger than many houses:
They’ve expanded over the years, adding buildings, a new entrance, and additions. This is the Chao Center for Asian Art:
The old Ca d’Zan gate is the new main entrance:
And, of course, the whole compound is right on Sarasota Bay: