Friday, December 7, 2007

Painting the pulps

I've always enjoyed the lurid covers of vintage pulp magazines and paperbacks. In my many visits to used bookstores over the years, I've collected hundreds of early paperbacks, and the ones that are the most fun are the ones which are the most politically incorrect.

I spent a lunchtime at the New Britain Museum of American Art. It's one of my favorite small museums because it's so accessible. When I first discovered it in my late teens, and realized this amazing collection of art was six blocks from my house, I was astonished that the building across the street from my dentist's office was so full of wonder.

I didn't spend much time with the regular collection, though I stopped at a few of my favorites, Bierstadt's Seal Rock, Dusk by Maxfield Parrish and the Thomas Hart Benton mural. I did spend a happy hour in the Pulp Art exhibit. It's amazing, funny and wonderful that this collection, assembled by Robert Lesser, of commercial graphic art, is so appealing. This is exactly the kind of thing that will dazzle a 10-13 year old boy, and get him interested in art forever. It has somewhat of the same effect on a 55 year old man.

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