The “Good Handicraftsmen” Poster

We now have in our store a brand-new poster featuring the exquisite 1906 Aline Lamy painting featured on the inside covers of Issue Ten. We scanned this from an antique postcard I purchased a few years ago. I instantly fell in love with the painting and have been waiting for the right moment to use it. Mike and I have tried to research the context of the painting but found very little. The postcard has Cyrillic text which can be translated into English “Paris. Salon. Declaration of a strike.” So, it seems our busy Parisian craftsman is depicted hearing news of yet another labor strike. Lamy was born in France in 1862 and later on in her life moved to Topeka, Kansas where she painted this scene in 1906 (France’s “peak strike year” during this time according to Encyclopedia Britannica). It is clear from the scene’s details that she had a clear memory of this shop. It’s possible that the painting may have been based upon sketches from her time in France. It’s hard to be sure from the craftsman’s expression what exactly he thinks of the hubbub going on outside his window, but to my eye the man looks quite at home in the shop with shavings laying at his feet.

Below the poster’s image, we placed a quotation from the John Ruskin article in Issue Ten titled “Savageness”: “Now it is only by labor that thought can be made healthy, and only by thought that labor can be made happy, and the two cannot be separated with impunity. It would be well if all of us were good handicraftsmen in some kind, and the dishonor of manual labor done away with altogether.”

We love this piece of wisdom from Ruskin and thought it complimented well the contemplative craftsman in Lamy’s dramatic painting.

Take note that we expect these to sell out quickly and we won’t be doing another run. Get in your order now. 11" x 18". Heavyweight, matte-coated paper (same as our “Another Work is Possible” Axe Poster). Printed in the United States. $15.

Get yours here.

– Joshua


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