And what this traveler sees is quite shocking, spectacular: Windhoeck had become a town made of discarded tin petrol cans. Thosuands of cans flattened and battered and fashioned and fabricated to fit over wooden skeletons--and then whitewashed--all arranged around a city plan of roundabouts and looking vaguely like Washington DC in plan.
The National Mills Company
catalog—purveyor of bathroom and plumbing supplies to the trade of Fort Wayne, Indiana—of 1939 is like
a trip back in time to grandma’s Great Barrington bathroom, comforting and sort of
pleasing, until you get to the color illustrations. It is there that the Turner colorized
classic movies seem to have gone and spewily bled their incredible neo-technicolor blood—colors
not found in nature do battle amongst themselves in brilliantly chromo-deranged
bathrooms and kitchens.
certainly seem benign enough in black and white (and gray tones), but in color
we are left with “oh, wow!” reactions as the cones in our eyes plead for mercy,
and anyone who ever lived with any ability of color sense goes a-spinning in
the ethereal night, corkscrewing themselves into a-chromatic corners of the
Seeing these right on the heels of my post on beautiful, simple vernacular architecture of found objects makes these samples of bourgeoisie pre-war post-depression excess all the more awful, like that knowing lump in your throat when you know something is going to go badly. The experimentation with extreme color for the middle class in the National Mills catalog seems to have survived itself, many of these colors were evidently sold In big enough numbers to warrant reappearances in the next few catalogs. Go figure.