A picture book

V&A Picture Book In Colour 1931

A Picture Book in Colour II. No fancy titles here. And with a cover design this fancy who needs a fancy title?

This is a Victoria & Albert Museum picture book. Published under the authority of the Board of Education in March 1931: ‘This little book has been prepared primarily for those visitors to the Museum who may wish to take away, in an inexpensive form, some coloured reproductions of objects in the collections.’

It was printed by the Kynoch Press, Birmingham. The cover design isn’t credited but it looks very much like the work of Margaret Calkin James to me. The tasteful tipped-on paper title plate is nice and minimal, so as not to argue with the vibrant boogie-woogie cover pattern. The whole book is so satisfying as to make me want to own it, before thinking of the fine selection of objects pictured within. Ranging from wooden coffers, to embroidered table covers to the Hokusai wave woodblock print.

Picture Book in Colour I had the same cover but different objects within and was published in portrait format. Prosaically containing ‘plates of objects which lend themselves to reproduction in an upright rather than an oblong form.’ Very sensible too.

It may be a bit of a busman’s holiday – my collecting old museum booklets. But they resonate with me, rather a lot. And they certainly don’t make them like they used to.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *