Pretty as a postcard is an expression we use to describe picturesque scenery. The photography used on postcards is generally good quality (i.e. having the best vantage point and deep focus). But the photos tends to rely on trite and formulaic imagery.
I found the postcard below a few years ago during a trip to the Caribbean island of Saint Barthélemy (a.k.a. St. Bart’s). It is among the most original and artistic photographs I’ve ever seen on a postcard:
It’s a detail of an old clapboard house that is common on the island. We saw many houses like this – both in style and colour – in St. Bart’s capital Gustavia, where I bought this.
It’s the fact that there are buildings like this that are so unique to this region that makes it a great postcard image. It achieves the goal of a postcard image of sending a snapshot to capture the look and feel of a special place to those at home.
We had my daughter fill out the back:
My daughter drew a coconut tree and the ocean that she saw there. She composed the message too, which reads: “We took a big catamaran to St. Barth’s today. We rode super big waves.”
After the United States, the United Kingdom is the most popular destination for my postcard-sending circle. But in the Collection’s extensive U.K. holdings, there was not one of a ceiling, until this item recently arrived:
I love cool ceilings – vaulted, cofferred, tray, even funky 1970s stucco. But this one is incredible, and apparently the world’s tallest fan vaulted ceiling as the caption relates:
[top] King’s College, Cambridge
[bottom] “The fan vaulting from King’s College Chapel, 1512-15. Designed and built by the master mason John Wastell, the Chapel ceiling is the largest fan vault in the world.”
“Dear Glen, Greetings from England where I first met you, at Tintagel in 1989, in Cornwall. I’m travelling with two very compatible friends. Weather has been cool and rainy, but it hasn’t dampened our enjoyment or enthusiasm. I went to a stunning ballet performance at the Covent Garden open house last night. Hope you are well. Best wishes”
I had a great day today as it was Doors Open in Toronto. Doors Open is a special event wherein normally closed buildings are opened to the public. We’ve been going since it started 15 years ago, but we never got to see one of Toronto’s architectural gems, the R. C. Harris Water Treatment Plant.
Considered the best example of industrial use of the art deco style in Canada, it’s not only an architectural gem but it’s also situated on a beautiful setting by Lake Ontario. And Undercover Brother and X-Men were shot there. So we eagerly went to see it today.
Here’s a postal card that Canada Post issued (along with a stamp) on the building:
The postal card is unsent. But I do have some of the pictures I took today of the plant:
I was excited when I received this postcard in the mail a couple days ago:
It’s the theatre in Taliesin West in Scottsdale, Arizona – built by famed U.S. architect Frank Lloyd Wright. It’s not Taliesin -that Taliesin is open for tours in Wisconsin.
Taliesin West seems beautiful and interesting too and the theatre has its own history, as the back details:
“The Cabaret Theater. Taliesin West is the international headquarters for the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation including the Frank Lloyd Wright Archives, School of Architecture and Taliesin Architects.”
“Apparently Frank Lloyd Wright loved movies and performances and had his ‘apprentices’ read ‘slave labour’ build this extremely cool Berlin-like cave cabaret theatre.”
Sorry, for the corny headline but earlier this week a postcard came that was unique for my collection:
The house by Frank Lloyd Wright looks great – not that the postcard does it justice. I love Wright’s work. But I was most excited by what’s on the flip side:
“Studio Entrance, 1898
Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio
Frank Lloyd Wright, Architect
Wright designed the two male sculptures on the roof called The Boulders and the plaster panels of storks in relief that guard the windows of the loggia entrance porch to the Studio. These designs were sculpted for the building by Richard Bock.”
“Full day of touring house of FLR and his contemporaries. 400 volunteers to show 12 houses! Crazy but very cool!”
It is my first postcard from Oak Park, Illinois. But I was most excited by the stamp. I’ve never seen a stamp before that had an optical code like this before. Is that new? Really cool anyway.