Fantasy Travel

Vintage People on Photo Postcards

Tom Phillips

Fantasy Travel

Tom Phillips

Distributed for Bodleian Library, University of Oxford

With a Foreword by Terry Jones
112 pages | 200 halftones | 7 x 7 1/2 | © 2012
Cloth $15.00 ISBN: 9781851243839 Published November 2012 For sale in North America only

To celebrate the acquisition of the archive of distinguished artist Tom Phillips, the Bodleian Library asked the artist to assemble and design a series of books drawing on his themed collection of over 50,000 photographic postcards. These encompass the first half of the twentieth century, a period in which, thanks to the ever cheaper medium of photography, ordinary people could afford to own portraits of themselves. Each of the books in the series contains two hundred images chosen from a visually rich vein of social history. Their covers also feature thematically linked paintings, specially created for each title, from Phillips’s signature work, A Humument.
Fantasy Travel compiles postcards of people sitting playfully in studio mock-ups of airplanes, cars, speedboats, and hot air balloons. Such modes of travel were beyond the means of most people at the time, and photographic studios allowed them to indulge their flights of fancy—and take away the resulting postcard.
Each of these unique and visually stunning books give a rich glimpse of forgotten times and will be greatly valued by art and history lovers alike.

      Terry Jones
      Tom Phillips


General Comments and Notes
Review Quotes
Sandy Nairne, director, National Portrait Gallery, London
“These images are captivating visual vignettes. We may not know who the subjects are, but the postcards offer us a glimpse of their interests, their time, and their world. Tom Phillips’s exceptional collection gives us a fascinating chance to retrieve something of these lives.”
Brian Lund, editor of Picture Postcard Monthly
“Picture postcards from a century ago capture unique moments in time and place and are a wonderful social history record. Tom Phillips is adept at seeking out and choosing amazingly evocative postcard images.”
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