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Distributed for Bodleian Library Publishing

Women & Hats

Vintage People on Photo Postcards

With a foreword by Philip Treacy

Distributed for Bodleian Library Publishing

Women & Hats

Vintage People on Photo Postcards

With a foreword by Philip Treacy

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.

Women & Hats explores the remarkable range found in the world of millinery, from outrageous Edwardian creations to the inventive austerities of World War II. 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.

112 pages | 200 color plates | 7 x 7 1/2 | © 2010

Photo Postcards from the Tom Phillips Archive

Art: Photography

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“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.”

Sandy Nairne, Director, National Portrait Gallery, London

“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.”

Brian Lund, editor, Picture Postcard Monthly

“The heyday of the milliner’s art, like that of the picture postcard, is long past, but Tom Phillips’s Women and Hats summons up a fond nostalgia for both. The book’s 200 photographs, taken between 1900 and 1950, portray middle-class British women who stepped into High Street studios to purchase penny-a-print photographic postcards of themselves. Most of the women remain unidentified, but the messages they wrote bring a few to fleeting life, including Connie Beldig, who in 1910 wrote from Manchester: ‘Do you recognise me now, as it is so long since you saw me, but this isn’t a very good photo.’ It is, however, a very impressive hat.:”

Wall Street Journal

Table of Contents


      Philip Treacy


      Tom Phillips


General Comments and Notes

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