Tuesday, September 19, 2023

International Night Life #1: Art of C.A. Birch-Field

We've been looking at some lovely lady art for the last few posts, so let's keep it going with some truly beautiful C.A. Birch-Field paintings from the ultra rare copy of International Night Life - The Magazine of Night Club Activities V1 #1, published in September 1937. Also known as the "Ice Frolics Edition", the real-life versions of the performing girls featured in the images below were actual stars of the International Casino Revue.


Brian Barnes said...

I really like the "flow" this art has -- there's a curved body line that is usually pointed at by the fabric, it's really neat, artistic work.

4th one would be my favorite, it has a real sense of movement to it, a lot of fine work with the very thin fabric and the movement in the hair. All of this stuff is pretty high end!

Mr. Cavin said...

Whoever I see that toothy, textured look, especially in the grays and shading tones like here, I think the method of achieving it was stone lithography. Of course this may not be true. Maybe the originals are water colors or ink washes over charcoal, or perhaps paint stippled with a sponge, something like that. Maybe the colors were separated using Ben Day screens that reproduces stone patterns instead of dots (there were plenty of different kids). But it's more likely the originals shot for this publication were lithographs of the original set of paintings.

At any rate, it's a look I really like. Both vintage and timeless. Cool find.

Mr. Karswell said...

The credit page inside the magazine lists them as engravings

Mr. Cavin said...

Hmm. My knowledge on this is weak. But I would assume that the word "engraving" could apply to lithography. One way to make a lithograph is to etch the image into stone using acid. Another way is to repel the ink from certain parts of a flat stone using chemicals. There may be other ways.

I don't know if other kinds of engraving are considered lithography. But it does at least seem like the gritty texture I'm talking about here came from a stone. And that's a cool look.

But speaking of not knowing what I'm talking about: Whoever? *Whenever. As in "I need to stop trying to comment cogently whenever it's first thing in the morning."

JMR777 said...

Best description I can think of- Proto-Playboy.

The images remind me of classical Greek statues of the goddesses. Which one would make Venus jealous?