My interest in handmade postcards began quite by accident. Around 2002 I chanced upon a crude, hand-drawn facsimile of a postcard that had been popular in the 1930’s. I'd long had an interest in naive art and owned a small collection of paintings and crafts that I’d acquired from art galleries and thrift stores and yard sales over the years and so my curiosity was piqued at the idea of an unexplored medium. I began searching online auction sites and discovered a trove of handmade postcards. Unlike the hordes of collectors with an interest in thrift store paintings, there didn’t seem to be anyone else interested in buying these cards, at least not as examples of folk art; the only exception was when a collector had an interest in the subject matter itself.
Predominantly created by amateurs and the self-taught, these works are almost all unique, one of a kind pieces and span a time frame of over eighty years, from about 1890 to the mid-1970’s. They comprise a vast range of mediums and approaches, from watercolour to gouache to oils to collage and altered photography. Subject matter ranges from the banal to births and deaths to the advent of the car and the camera to women’s suffrage and the confines of the trenches of WWI. There are hundreds of singular works as well as several series of correspondence and/or collections made by individual artists. Most have been posted and they originate from locales all over the world.
My purpose in beginning this blog is to share the many wonderful cards that I've been lucky to acquire and to facilitate a dialogue about the changing ways we communicate. The postcard and the letter are slowly disappearing as a means of keeping in touch. That is neither a good nor a bad thing; like everything in this universe it is merely part of the constant state of flux that makes existence interesting.