Importation, Regulation, Dancing Shoes, Desperation

“Importation, Regulation, Dancing Shoes, Desperation” is an original, handcut paper collage on 5×7 matboard.

I have a thing for vintage advertising. I could go through old magazines for hours. One of my favorite parts of an old magazine is the classified section at the back – amazing to look back on all of the offers, the work from home schemes, the free samples, the patterns, the personalized gifts! Even better than an old magazine, though, is an old catalog. I found a 1937 Montgomery Ward catalog at an estate sale a while back. It is not in the greatest shape, but I am certainly enjoying almost 800 pages of household goods, clothing, and just about anything else you would have needed to set up house in 1930s America. The illustrations and copywriting are amazing. What a different world!

I love the fresh faces of these catalog gals, with an old map and vintage illustrations in the background. A vocabulary book gave me the list of words, to which I added “Dancing Shoes,” as the shoe girl was separated from the spring dress girls. My friend commented that I really should charge more than 38 cents, which I took from another vintage ad – I marvel at the fact that you could buy anything for just 38 cents! And so, we contemplate style, price, and a list of rhyming words…