19-mele-department-stores

E. &  A. Mele & Co., fashion, latest merchandise, Naples, from a series advertising Mele department store, Aleardo Villa (Italian, 1865–1906)
Publisher: Officine G. Ricordi & Company, Milan, Italy, about 1900, Color lithograph on card stock
Leonard A. Lauder Postcard Archive—Promised gift of Leonard A. Lauder Courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Here is the third woman in a big hat that we have featured this year (see also Mrs Katz and Jane Avril) and this one might be the most galmorous of them all. She is an illustrated advertisement for a department store and is part of the gift of Leonard A. Lauder to the Musuem of Fine Arts, Boston, of a collection of postcards that describes not only developments in graphic design, but also social history. These historical developments range from interest in sports and physical well-being, to aviation and travel to celebrities and places to visit, such as the zoo (see below). Images in the collection also include advertising and photography, one of the most dramatic of these being the destruction of the Hindenburg airship.

Postcards were introduced by the Austro-Hungarian postal service in 1869. At first they were looked down upon as too brief and informal but nevertheless soon gained popularity for those very reasons of convenience. People started to collect them and producers pandered to topics that were favoured. Even famous artists like Mucha and Kandinsky designed postcards and in 1903 more than a billion postcards went through the German postal system alone!

If you want to share in the postcard craze you can send e-postcards from the Museum of Fine Arts website here. The exhibition is on until 14th April 2013.

31-water

Water, from the series Elements, Gisbert Combaz (Belgian, 1869–1941), Publisher: Dietrich et Cie. (Belgian), Belgian, 1898
 Color lithograph on card stock
 Leonard A. Lauder Postcard Archive—Promised gift of Leonard A. Lauder Courtesy, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

02-floral-patterned-coat

Floral patterned coat, from the series Blanchenoir, Publisher: F. Morawetz, Salzburg after 1905, Lithograph on card stock
Leonard A. Lauder Postcard Archive—Promised gift of Leonard A. Lauder Courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

18-taliendo-great-day-of-aviation

Taliendo. Great day of aviation July 8 1934 4:30pm about 1934, Color lithograph on card stock
Leonard A. Lauder Postcard Archive—Promised gift of Leonard A. Lauder Courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

08-crocodile-and-hamsters

Crocodile and hamsters, from the series Basel Zoological Garden by Hedwig Keerl Thoma (Swiss, 1886–1946)
 about 1922 Color lithograph on card stock
Leonard A. Lauder Postcard Archive—Promised gift of Leonard A. Lauder Courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Boston