Wunderkammer is a collection of high resolution images from old books in the Hagströmer Medical Library. Some of my favorites are sea anemones, nerve cells, rooster chasing off a monster, 16th Century eye surgery, muscles and bones of the hand and arm, elephant-headed humanoid and cupping. It can also be browsed by tag, broken up into subject (e.g. beast), emotion (e.g. strange), technique (e.g. chromolithography) and era (e.g. 18th Century). Once you've exhausted the pleasures of the Wunderkammer, venture into the Bibliotheca Systema Naturae, with scans from more books in the Hagströmer Medical Library, such as portraits of patients and Goethe's theory of optics.
The fossil remains of Helicoprion are limited to some crushed cartilage and its teeth, which aren't unusual for fossil remains of sharks and shark-like fish. But those teeth are unique: formed in a spiral saw-type formation, known as a spiral dentition or toothwhorl, with the older teeth pushed into the center of the spiral by the newer teeth. Since a whorl was first discovered in 1899, there have been a number of theories about how the teeth were used, leading to numerous creative but largely untested reconstructions, until 2013, when a new CT scan enabled the researchers to make a new, improved reconstruction of Helicoprion. That scientific article is not so visually exciting, so let's enjoy Ray Troll's illustrations, and Mary Parrish's updated illustration. [more inside]
In the days before widespread cable TV with electronic menus, people relied on print guides to know what to watch and when to watch it. The regional New York paper Newsday had its resident staff artist Gary Viskupic provide illustrations for the movies, specials, and day-to-day programs. Nostalgia blog don't parade on my rain has a collection of scans showing Viskupic's trippy, macabre line art, giving a certain amount of panache to the rather pedestrian world of TV Scheduling. Part 1 (including: Kubrick's 2001, NBC Reports: But is this Progress?, Hellstrom Chronicle) and Part 2 (including: Rosemary's Baby, The Marx Bro's Coconauts, Bunny of the Year Pageant). [more inside]
In "An Edwardian Package Holiday," Kirsty Hooper mentions the role that "lively representations" in illustrated travel books such as Spain Revisited: A Summer Holiday in Galicia and A Corner of Spain played in promoting northwest Spain to British tourists (more here). Many other richly illustrated travel books from the same period are available online, perhaps most notably the "Beautiful England" and "Beautiful Ireland" series published by Blackie & Son and the wide variety of titles published by A & C Black. [more inside]
Austin Light is back at it with TV Title Typos, illustrations of tv shows created from well known shows but with one letter missing from the title. (previously he did movie titles, which has been turned into a book!)
"During Wain's life, though, his fortunes reversed several times. Believed to be suffering from schizophrenia, Wain lived his final years in institutions. Eight of his cat drawings—which range from cuddly to psychedelic—came to be known as the 'Famous Series' and for years would be offered up as a the stages of a deteriorating mind, illustrated. But the truth is a bit more complicated." (Previously)
"Led by The New York Academy of Medicine, the Color Our Collections event invites you to download images from library and cultural institution collections, color them, and share them on social media using the event hashtag #ColorOurCollections."To start with, check out the natural history offerings from the Biodiversity Heritage Library and the medieval offerings from the University of Oxford's Bodleian Library. [more inside]
The Book Graphics blog collects thousands of gorgeous covers and illustrations, with special emphases on Russian artists, fairy tales, and antiquarian books.
"I hope that a viewer will be able to put themselves in my spaces. To that end I’ve avoided adding any figures of any kind to inhabit the rooms, so the viewer is free to imagine themselves inhabiting them if they choose. Some people find them claustrophobic, others want to linger. The detail draws in the viewer, though I’ve also seen it repel the odd person. I enjoy the combination of the creepy and the whimsical. Perhaps this boils down to wanting my drawings to be haunted in the same way that my dreams locales often feel haunted." Excerpt from an interview with Matthew Borrett, an artist/illustrator who draws black and white rooms, scenes from unreal worlds, and some more realistic settings.
16 neato burrito body positive illustrations. (Some are NFSW). (slBustMagazine)
Eric Proctor, aka Tsaoshin, draws cute monsters, dragons, Disney characters and Grumpy Cats. The last two merge in a short series of images he calls Grumpy Disney, with the various Disney characters (mostly princesses) replaced with Grumpy Cats doing suitably Grumpy Cat things.
Tatsuo Horiuchi came to art late in his life, and with an unusual tool. At age 60, he was inspired by graphs he saw, and started using Microsoft Excel to make art in the style of traditional Japanese scenes. See more on Spoon & Tamago and Bored Panda.
Fans of the late Richard Scarry may be happy to know that a new book featuring Scarry's favorite character Lowly Worm is due on the shelves this autumn. From the Guardian article: "The book will feature one of Scarry's best-loved and most ubiquitous [and mysterious] characters, the alpine-hatted, singly-shod Lowly Worm, who drives an applecar and was probably the first worm in space." [more inside]
An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments
This book is aimed at newcomers to the field of logical reasoning, particularly those who, to borrow a phrase from Pascal, are so made that they understand best through visuals.
Quinologie: the cinchona and issues in the present state of science and commerce (1865). The book has 23 hand-colored and extremely detailed plates of the many different barks of the cinchona tree, the world's original source of quinine. Don't get too excited - it's literally just some pictures of bark. Pictures begin on page 51.
Jost Amman (1539 – 1591) was a Swiss artist, best known for his woodcut illustrations. He was a prolific artist, with some 1,500 prints attributed to him, in the era when engravings were replacing woodcuttings. Amman also made stained glass (Google books preview) and jewelry, but there are more examples of his woodcut illustrations, as found on the colored cover of this bible from 1564, and the black and white images of biblical scenes. Amman's most widely know work is "the book of trades," Eygentliche Beschreibung Aller Stände auff Erden (Google books; PDFs of sections of the book). Ptak Science Books has 25 images with (most) job titles in English, and here is a full index of English titles, linking back to Wikimedia Commons. But that's only half of the book. The other part is the descriptions of the jobs, which are short poems by Hans Sachs, some of which are translated on the Victoria and Albert Museum.
"Young ladies, indelibly fix this shape of head in your memories. Any man who will make a natural, kind and true husband will have a head in outline from a side view like this." Phrenology Diagrams from Vaught's Practical Character Reader (1902). Full 268-page book available in the LOC's Internet Archive.
Illustrator Rebecca Mock has created animated gifs for NYTimes articles ranging from quiet cars on Amtrak trains to observations about Main Street storefronts. She has been interviewed about her process. Don't miss the party.
Edward Gorey's gothic tales from the vault: ' Edward Gorey's arch eccentrics are on display in two reissues and a never-before-published story.' [more inside]
The Art of Vogue Covers details the illustrated covers of British Vogue from 1909 through 1940, including the entire collection of covers between 1920-1930. Most of the work showcased is by seasoned Vogue illustrators Helen Dryden, Georges Lepap, Harriett Maserol, George Plank and Eduardo Benito amongst others. Look for continuing additions at the Flickr set. This is literally just the tip of the iceberg.
Your change, with thanks — Among the refinements of middle-class Victorian shopping was the giving of change not directly from hand to hand but in paper packets. The envelope, known as a ‘change packet,’ measured some 60 mm (2 ½ in) square and was printed with the legend ‘The change, with thanks’, often in a decorative roundel or other device. [more inside]
Andy Fairhurst uses silhouetted children to brilliantly illustrate the imaginations of Superhero Kids. [more inside]
Theodor Kittelsen (1857-1914) was a Norwegian artist, famous for his (frequently astonishing) pictures of trolls, as well as his illustrations of dragons, fairies, folk stories and the occasional absolute horror. [more inside]
In his ongoing project, Imaginawesome, designer Garrett Miller takes children’s drawings and descriptions and turns them into wonderful illustrations. [more inside]
Kevin J. Weir is an artist, making ads (1, 2, 3, 4, 5), and more interestingly, not ads. In the latter category, he has made 3 stand-alone sites: the Flux Machine, a tumblr of public domain images turned into animated GIFs, ranging from amusing to surreal (with an extra dash of Lovecraft), which Cartoon Brew likened to Terry Gilliam and Stan VanDerBeek; Nyan Waits, another spin-off of the Nyan Cat meme/theme, now with more Tom Waits; and Loud Portraits, an interactive portrait gallery. [more inside]
Old Book Illustrations are vintage pictures that were originally wood engravings or woodcuts, etchings or metal engravings. Old Book Art is pictures, drawings, maps and other images from antiquarian, public-domain books and other old documents. [more inside]
Beautiful Type is a patchwork of photos and illustrations having a relationship with typography. AisleOne is focused on graphic design, typography, grid systems, minimalism and modernism. iABC is a collection of beautiful letters. Inspiration Bit has a nice archive of articles about web typography. Nicetype is about fonts, logos, posters and software. Twenty-Six Types celebrates the beautiful letters. Typenuts is type-themed iPhone and desktop wallpapers. Typoretum is about typography, letterpress and printing history. Enjoy.
Most of the prints in the exhibit "Beauty, Virtue and Vice: Images of Women in Nineteenth-Century American Prints" were designed simply to please the eye, but they are also useful to historians who would like to understand how nineteenth-century Americans thought about the world in which they lived. Although prints are often works of imagination (even when they are grounded in fact), they still have much to tell us about the time and place in which they were created. [more inside]
The artists of Draw2D2 are given two "geeky things" based on a monthly theme, and then have two weeks to create mash-up illustrations. Art is posted every other Thursday at 12:00pm EST, with a poll for the public to vote for their favorites. Artists with the most votes can show their process in a spotlight post. [more inside]
Nothing is Forgotten, a lovely little wordless comic about loss, fear, kindness, and memory.
75 Sensational Examples Of Sci-Fi Illustration at Designer's Terminal. If you click on an image there are details of each artist.
Japanese woodblock print images | wonderful vintage commercial graphics | the Folk Museum Kawachinagano | old books | ceramics and laquerware from The Digital Archive Project of Osaka which has an interesting online museum to explore with some excellent art and illustrations. [more inside]
Visually sumptuous, Gurafiku is a collection of visual research pertaining to Japanese graphic design. Assembled by the designer abroad; Ryan Hageman. Some of the categories: Ukiyo-e | Illustration | Typography |Manga | 1960's | 1970's | 1980's |1990's. [more inside]
Op-Ed at 40, A Brief History of the Art, Four Decades of Illustration at the New York Times is an awesome 10:20 minute mini documentary video with a selection of brilliant political, social satire cartoons and insightful illustrations. Bonus link: DailyOpEd.com – Read and search over 100 major newspaper op-eds. [more inside]
Though George Lucas said Chewbacca was based on his dog, an intrepid fan tracked down a different origin story. [more inside]
Jabberwacky, A Free Comic Book about the Middle Ages (sort of) from Wide Awake Press (also available in pdf or cbz format) [more inside]
Toon Hertz: digital creations or mixed illustrations of children and films of monsters, dark culture and surrealism. Toon Hertz was born in 1967 in Liege in Belgium. These remind me of The Corpse Bride and a little of Edward Scissorhands.
The Rosetta Project is an online collection of mostly children's books from the late 19th and early 20th centuries complete with illustrations (previously). [more inside]
"Seventy two specimens of castes in India". This illustrated manuscript made in southern India in 1837 consists of 72 full-colour hand-painted images of men and women of the various castes and religious and ethnic groups found in Madura, India at that time. Search or browse (recommended) all the images, in very good resolution, from Yale's Beinecke Library. [more inside]
Creepy fairy-talish illustrations and animations of Gaston Vinas, including this horrifying (unofficial) Radiohead music video. NSFW.
Artwork by Denis Zilber (NSFW) which will make you want to do some drawing.
Book of the Month is a feature that the University of Glasgow Library has been running for over a decade now. The format is simple, a single book is selected from their collections, written up and accompanied by pictures, maps and photographs scanned from the books. With over a 100 books to select from, it's hard to know where to start, but anywhere is good because they're all lovely. Still, here are a few, Charles Darwin's The Expression of the emotions in man and animals, a beautiful 15th century illuminated copy of Livy's Roman history, Treatises on Engines and Weapons, Valentines and Dabbities, The Birds of Australia, Facts and Observations on the Sanitary State of Glasgow, Ibn Jazla's The arrangement of bodies for treatment and finally, The Curious Case of Mary Toft, MetaFilter superstar.