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Bicycles: Vintage People on Photo Postcards (Photo Postcards from the Tom Phillips Archive) [Hardcover]

Tom Phillips

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Book Description

1 April 2011 Photo Postcards from the Tom Phillips Archive
To celebrate the acquisition of the Tom Phillips archive, the Bodleian Library has asked the artist to assemble and design a series of books drawing on his themed collection of over 50,000 photographic postcards. These encompass the first half of the twentieth century, a period in which, thanks to the ever cheaper medium of photography, 'ordinary' people could afford to own their portraits. Bicycles documents the great age of the safety bicycle which was the instrument of emancipation for women and freedom for men. Also we see competitive racers and pedalling toddlers. Each book contains 200 images chosen with the eye of a leading artist from a visually rich vein of social history. Their covers will also feature a thematically linked painting, especially created for each title, from Tom Phillips' signature work, A Humument.

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Bicycles: Vintage People on Photo Postcards (Photo Postcards from the Tom Phillips Archive) + Fancy Cycling, 1901: An Edwardian Guide (Old House Projects) + The Modern Cyclist, 1923: For All Wayfarers (Old House Projects)
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'An important contribution to social history and visual culture.' Visual Studies

About the Author

Tom Phillips CBE, RA, is a major British artist who lives and works in London.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A window on the past 15 Mar 2012
By Vernon Forbes - Published on
This is the first collection of vintage bicycle portrait photography to be published. It is of interest to photographers, historians and cyclists. Most people who like bicycles end up with a few photographs they pick up at flea markets of people posed with their bicycles before WWII. If you ever wanted a collection of people posing with their bicycles this small book contains 199 photographs of people with a bicycle theme. This collection of photographs has very little text, it shows people from a time when bicycles and photographs were expensive enough that just owning a bicycle and being able afford to have a picture-portrait taken signified a kind of status. Perhaps half of them are studio portraits and the rest are outdoors. All of them are posed. The pictures show children on tricycles, families on tandems, people wearing costumes, the handicapped, racers with their trophies and delivery-boys in front of shops. There is one wedding. While they are all from Great Britain the photographs appear to date from closer to WWI than WWII when both women and men wore hats. This adds to the small number of titles on bicycle photography including Bicycle: Around the World], [[ASIN:0967636108 Bicycle Messenger: Photography by Kyle Shepard(both out of print)and Velo: Bicycle Culture and Design. However, they are all exercises in photo-journalism. An old photograph is a window on the past and this is certain to grow in value.
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