In two previous posts I wrote about the two most obvious sources for obtaining inexpensive wall art: books and the internet. A third source is ephemera defined as: items of collectible memorabilia, typically written or printed ones, that were originally expected to have only short-term usefulness or popularity. So what exactly are we talking about here? I’m not absolutely certain all of the following qualify as ephemera but consider these not so obvious sources. How about…
Reproductive art can be bought in postcard format to use in small frames and mini-galleries. The cards shown below are from our old friend, Toulouse Lautrec.
Or consider vintage postcards. I’m not totally keen on contemporary postcards with their high gloss photographic images but vintage cards often have a matte finish and original art work. Shown below are two postcards of watercolor scenes from Paris and a framed postcard from a Parisian restaurant, all dating from the late 50’s.
Look for vintage postcards at yard sales, thrift stores, estate sales, used-book stores, and on-line.
As an alternative to purchasing cards check out the vintage cards found in images on Google. Type the name of your favorite place and “vintage postcards” and watch the terrific designs that come up: monuments, scenery, national costumes, cityscapes, and sometimes really cute designs that would be terrific to use in a child’s room. The French, English, German, Italian, Swiss, Dutch, Norwegian, Swedish, Russian, Japanese, and Egyptian cards are especially interesting (but be warned, expect to see some nudity if you check out the French cards). Also try Portuguese, Spanish, Australian, Mexican, African, Greek, Cretan, and Chinese (but be warned that among the first few of the Chinese cards is one that shows a decapitated body.) The back side of postcards sometimes show exotic stamps and postage marks, and can be as interesting as the featured design. Vintage postcards offer a wealth of wall art possibilities.