Ephemera 24 Conference
Join members of the Ephemera Society at Ephemera
24, our annual conference and fair, Friday, March 19-Sunday, the
21st, 2004. As in years past, we will be meeting at the Hyatt Regency
Hotel in Greenwich, Connecticut, just off exit 5 of Route 95 and
not too far from the train station in Greenwich. All of the presentations
will take place in the Roundhill Room.
Ephemera 24 will feature six speakers, four on Friday
and two Sunday morning.
the conference at 9:30 a.m. on Friday is Steven Lomazow, whose topic
is called A Compact History of American Periodicals: The Ephemeral
Window of Popular Culture. Steven, a practicing neurologist,
has been studying America through its periodical press for 30 years.
His own collection of magazines focuses on first issues, and he
has served as a consultant to the Newseum in Washington, DC and
has exhibited items from his collection at the Grolier Club in New
York City. Steven is the author of American Periodicals, a Collectors
Manual and Reference Guide and is co-author of The Bibliography
of American Literature in Periodicals.
Following Steven is Valerie Jackson Harris, who will
be talking on Selected Techniques in the Production of English
Ephemera. Along with her late husband, Peter Jackson, Valerie
received the Ephemera Societys prestigious Maurice Rickards
Award for achievement in the field of ephemera in 2003. Valerie
is the proprietor of a shop, Quadrille, on Portobello Road in London,
England and has made presentations at past society conferences.
Anne Stewart ODonnell will begin the afternoon
session talking about The Arts & Crafts Greeting Card,
1906-1925: A First Look. Anne is an independent scholar and
writer who specializes in Victorian and turn of the century design
and is assistant editor of Style 1900.
Though they are small in size, greeting cards are
large in the eyes of people interested in studying the philosophy
behind the Arts & Crafts movement and its practices. In contrast
to ornately designed Victorian greeting cards, those produced under
the influence of the Arts & Crafts movement downplayed design
and focused on a personal message or greeting.
The second speaker Friday afternoon is Robert Olson.
His topic is Victorian Trade Card Magic. Robert, a full
time professional magician, has a passion for magic of the past,
leading him from a museum career at Old Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts
to performances in the style of eighteenth and nineteenth century
magicians. Roberts talk is based on his collection of trade
cards with themes of magic. Some show children doing tricks, while
others expose how tricks were done.
At 8:30 on Sunday morning, John Margolies will delight
his audience with Dreams and Nightmares: The American Hotel.
John is an author, photographer, and historian on American architecture
and design. For the past 25 years, he has traveled throughout the
United States, looking for both unique and typical examples of roadside,
main street, and resort architecture. John currently has a fellowship
from the Alicia Patterson Foundation and is studying what he terms
the sterility of todays corporate built environment.
American hotels have had a long history serving the
needs of travelers in need of rest. They have also been venues for
entertainment, celebrations, conventions, and other meetings. Some
hotels have housed the best restaurant in town and others have enriched
the life of their community in countless ways. Still others have
ranged from the purely functional to the abysmal. John will look
at the last 125 years of hotels in America, illustrating his talk
with images from their ephemera, including brochures, postcards,
and contemporary photographs.
Completing the presentations will be Wayne Morgan,
a museum curator and independent researcher who concentrates on
popular culture. Wayne is a newly-elected member of the Ephemera
Societys board of directors. His talk is entitled Palmer
Cox and the Brownies. This year marks the 120th anniversary
of a little known milestone, the first known occurrence in advertising
of the use of a creators characters with his permission and
to his benefit. The creator was Palmer Cox, a native of Canada,
the characters he drew were the Brownies, and the product that was
advertised was Ivory Soap. Long recognized as a childrens
author and illustrator, Cox in addition played an important role
in the development of licensing, using his Brownies in a variety
of retail campaigns and advertising markets.
Please mark your calendar for March 19-21, 2004 with
a notation to attend Ephemera 24. If you would like to make a reservation
at the Hyatt Regency, phone 203-637-1234 and mention the societys
conference to get our special room rate. We look forward to seeing
E. Richard McKinstry
[This article originally appeared in the Northeast
Journal of Antiques & Art.]