"The art of living in the wrong century - this is Saul Steinberg's (1914 – 1999) own designation for the predicament he has been illustrating for over a decade. In his latest collection, The Passport (the title is a deceptively mild clue to the whole works; it sneaks up on you), he has again and more inexorably than ever demonstrated his infinite capacity for taking pains in his graphic pursuit of melange, drafting, with a vilifying grasp of the murderously essential, our contemporary quest for style - in architecture, in furniture, clothing and machines - which we can also own."
Food writer Sam Aaron (1911 – 1996) let loose a slew of his well researched thoughts on the matter of how well cheese and wine complement one another and provided us with a helpful list of which type of wines harmonize best with certain cheeses:
"It can be soft, hard, sweet, sour, hot, cold, pungent or bland.
It comes in various shapes and many colors.
It can be inodorous or effuvious.
It is known in every country, to every tongue."
"Whatever its shape, hue, scent or nationality it is one of the most ancient, most honorable of foods and it is called cheese."
A wise man once said "A Meal Without Cheese is Like a Beautiful Woman with One Eye".
This summer calls for some thought on that most succulent of all shellfish: lobster.
Attached herein are three easy recipes, not for quick preparation and fast dining, but rather for more leisurely days or evenings following a day on the beach.
This article, by celebrated chef James Beard (1903 – 1985), walks us through the history of Champagne as only a true lover of food and wine can do:
"Not until around 1670 was a way discovered to imprison those tantalizing bubbles in every bottle, and keep the bottle from exploding. Credit for inventing sparkling Champagne is attributed, inaccurately perhaps, to a Benedictine monk named Dom Perignon...It is said that as an old, blind man, Dom Perignon could sniff a glass of Champagne, sip it, swish it about his mouth, and then unfailingly say from what hillside the grapes had come..."
"Modigliani came to Paris from Italy in the propitious year of 1906, start of a decade of art in which every contemporary movement germinated...When he became acquainted with Romanian sculptor Brancusi in 1909, the impact of the meeting gave his work a new direction..."
The attached notice recalled one of the grandest moments in baseball history when Babe Ruth played it up to his fans:
"Then like an actor who, having played a part so often, knows it by heart, Ruth majestically waved toward the right center field wall. A moment later the Babe's pantomimed prediction was a reality. As the crowd, sensing the finale of the drama, rose to its feet, Ruth slammed a homer almost exactly where he had pointed."
Widely remembered as the best dressed man of the Nineteenth Century, Beau Brummell, (né George Bryan Brummell 1778 - 1840), set the standard for male sartorial splendor and as a result, his name
liveth ever more.
The attached men's fashion article was written at a time when American leisure wear was going through it's birth pangs and slovenly attire was on the rise all over the fruited plain; it was thoroughly appropriate for the editors of GENTRY MAGAZINE to print this article which not only examined the clothing philosophy of the Beau but also paid heed as to which actors portrayed him on screen (oddly, there was no mention made whatever as to who the various costume designers were).
"He dressed simply, without ornamentation. What was it then that set him apart so ostentatiously from the crowd? What made him the best dressed man of the century? The answer lies not, as history has decided, in his clothes. It lay entirely in the way he wore them."
"Modigliani's art reflects the psychological secret of his personality as a man, which in turn determines, the characteristics of his art. This longing for intellectual and spiritual self-discipline was constantly struggling with the demands of his overflowing sensual nature; his dreams of physical and sexual vigor were at odds with the failings of his body, his ailments, and his psycho-sexual infantilism; his desire for glory rebelled against the frustrations and poverty of reality."
Few realize that when we applaud the tremendous style that went into so much of the design of 1950s American cars, we are actually praising the fertile mind of Harley J. Earl (1893 – April 10, 1969):
Earl, who served as the Vice-President of Design at General Motors, conceived of so many design elements that are associated with that period, such as wrap-around windshields, tail-fins and two-tone paint styling. In the attached article, written when he was at the top of his game, Harley Earl tells his readers what is involved in automobile design:
"Shakespeare has told us 'neither a borrower nor a lender be'. An automobile stylist must be both. He must borrow his ideas from the creatures and creations of nature which are all about him..."
Babe Ruth hit his sixtieth home run on October 1, 1927:
"The mighty blow came off a south-paw throw of Tom Zachary, Senator pitcher, as he saw his low, hard one belted into Babe's favorite parking place, the right field bleachers. This hit not only set a record, but won the game since the score was deadlocked at two-two in the eighth, when the Pasha of Bash stepped to the rubber with one out and Koenig on third..."
The attached photograph of Queen Elizabeth in her Coronation attire is accompanied by a few select words concerning the Koh-I-Nor diamond and a few other pretty baubles worn on the occasion of her 1953 coronation:
"Elizabeth II wearing the diamond-and-pearl circlet of Queen Victoria. The design incorporates the Tudor rose, Scotch thistle, and Irish shamrock. The diamond necklace was a wedding gift from the Nizam of Hyderabad."
Compiled four years after the Babe's death, the attached list will provide you with a compilation of all the various, assorted "mosts" that Babe Ruth racked up during his baseball career:
Most home runs, lifetime..................................714
Most home runs, American League..................708
Most home runs, World Series.........................15
Most home runs, season..................................60
Most years leading in home runs......................12
A 1956 article by Eugene Bordinat (1920 - 1987), one of Detroit's grand old men of automotive design; during his reign at Ford, Bordinat oversaw the styling of such cars as the Mustang and the Falcon:
"The average American likes to think that he is an independent thinker and a rugged individualist, while actually he is closer to a sheep and follows the herd. He resists change. He wants just enough change in cars so his neighbors will know it is the latest model, but not so much that he has to explain to his friends why he bought the strange contraption...The stylist must consider these factors when he out-lines his advanced thinking on trim and color...he must be sure that the scheme isn't so radical that it will frighten the color-timid public."
"The artist-editor-author-publisher of TOPOLSKI'S CHRONICLE, the London fortnightly, recently visited America. These are his drawings and comments on an American-Greek-god-sex-hero phenomenon":
"But, however mystically chosen, why Elvis Presley? Because, I think, he possess very happily the godlike value of all-embracing popularity: he is vulgar, yet stylish in the 'zoot' manner - thus he appeals to both the sophisticated and the simple. And his manhood is above suspicion..."
Here is an article from GENTRY MAGAZINE on the delightful day and high expectations of a French cognac taster:
"This is how it works: each morning, from about ten o'clock until lunch, at one, the taster receives in his office those farmers and distillers who have come to offer him samples of their cognac. The taster has eaten only a very small breakfast hours before. His stomach is practically empty...The taster never fills the glass with cognac, for that way the bouquet is lost . Instead, he pours in the cognac until the glass is one-third or at most half filled. Then he turns the glass so that the cognac is twirled in the glass and it's vapors mix even more with the air of the glass..."
Attached you will find a number of black and white images illustrating the general look for 1950s golfers - and if you've been looking for an article that explains the fashion sense of every single retired U.S. President for te past fifty years, you may have found it.
The fashions illustrated herein also provide today's costume designers with a sense of how retired crooners preferred to look as well.
Today we think nothing of ordering a Caffè Americano, Caffè Latte, Caffè Caramel Macchiato, Caffè Cinnamon Dolce Latte or espresso at one of the semi-respectable eateries in urban America - but to do this in 1953 would have been like asking for green cheese from the Moon. If you wanted to drink that stuff back then, you had to go to Orsini's in a place called "Manhattan".
Fads like ukulele strumming and flagpole sitting have not been seen on college campi since the 1920s - but the undergraduates in 1956 did adopt one fashion element from the Twenties - their father's raccoon coats.
Click here to read about the Ivy League look for 1953.
A one page essay by automobile-stylist William H. Graves, a former Vice President and Director of Engineering at the Studebaker-Packard Corporation.
"Two years ago a new product philosophy was approved at Packard which gave the engineering department a green light that had not been on since 1935. This enabled us to set up a program to style future cars for the luxury field...The Packard program was launched in October, 1952, with the formation of a new styling group of young men, whose average age was 28. An advanced design section and a special section to experiment with plastics as a possible material for both parts and dies were established."
Click here to read the obituary of J.M. Studebaker.