After years of sustaining a series of vintage design displays, we’re returning to the first instance (posted back on November 4,2014). But here we’re not about the witty and dazzling deco cover and the fascinating, quirky business concerns (such as an ad promoting tenancy in the just-completed Empire State Building); but instead a “filler” insert of pastel renderings of Alabama steel mills, by a long-forgotten artist/ designer, Roderick Mackenzie (1865-1941). Over and above the five remarkable, large-scale litho renditions acting as a speed bump to busy wheeler-dealers, we find the artist himself, and his highs and lows, to be a rich disclosure of vicissitudes of the career of an artist in early modern secular society.
Our first instance, “Three Bessemer Converters,” reminds us of the play of light and texture to be seen in the marine paintings of William Turner (1775-1851). Here the dynamics of light derive from fiery industrial processes rather than the earlier strategy involving sunlight, ocean and water crafts. Continue reading