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American Christmas Cards 1900-1960 by Kenneth L. Ames

$30.00

A BGC Focus Gallery Publication

Kenneth L. Ames

The power of Christmas derives from the appeal of its repeated rituals, the presumed antiquity of its traditions, and its ability to adapt to changing cultural conditions. Christmas cards seemed inevitable and ubiquitous, but in recent years the genre has been visibly in decline. It is now evident that the Christmas card was a culturally specific artifact, a distinctive way in which a fundamental human gesture could be expressed within a commercial, materialistic, and rapidly changing society. 

This stylish book explores the imagery, graphic forms, subject matter, and significance of Christmas cards in their chronological timeframe to reveal an important area of American material culture. There is much to surprise and delight.

Kenneth L. Ames is professor of American decorative arts at the Bard Graduate Center. He is the author of Beyond Necessity: Art in the Folk Tradition and Death in the Dining Room and Other Tales of Victorian Culture, and editor of Victorian Furniture.

Table of Contents

Foreword
Susan Weber

Preface
Kenneth L. Ames

Christmas Cards in America

Cards of the Nineteenth Century

Christmas Postcards

Calling Cards

Shrines

Winter

Candles

Poinsettias

Three Kings

Travel by Coach

Ships

Medieval Revels

Houses and Homes

Hearths

Music

Couples

Visiting

Santa and the Children

Christmas Trees

Christian Christmas

Churches

Family Photographs

Warm Places

Cute

Humor

Business

Afterword

Image Captions

Bibliography

Weight:
1.50 LBS
Quantity:

Other Details

ISBN:
978-0300176872
Dimensions:
8.7 x 7.2 x 0.8 in.
Page count:
320 pages, 250 illustrations
Publication date:
September 2011
Binding:
Paperback cover with flaps