Last summer while cleaning out my aged father’s home I happened across my mother’s manual for life…Amy Vanderbilt’s Complete Book of Etiquette published in 1954.¬† I grabbed a spot on the sofa and began to leaf through this treasure of civility.¬† Not too far into this tome and I was laughing till the tears came. Much like watching old 50′s re-runs on TV this book is a living testament of those very proper rules¬† so important mid-20th century that today are often comical, ridiculous and/or surreal.
It was then the idea began to ferment about doing a narrative series on the etiquette of my youth.¬† This spring I created a few screens and began to screen-print vintage linens¬† with these stories. The first piece Keeping Up Appearances #1 ¬†is now up on my website. I incorporated dye-painted & screen-printed dinner napkins, dishtowels and hand-woven samplers in this piece that speaks to women chain smoking in the office and discreetly eating candy¬† at one’s desk. Within the text collage is also wisdom about how to properly show interest in a prospective mate.¬† We would never want to be improper!
I have just finished designing the second piece of this series with more in the works.