The Provensens again!

Thanks to Linda Tajirian, my very smart and tuned in classmate from Hartford--I was made aware of this phenomenal book, " The Fireside Cookbook" by James Beard and illustrated by Martin and Alice Provensen (Simon and Schuster, 1949). I quickly scuttled over to Alibris to see if they had a used copy so that I could pour over their work and at the same time, devouring the wonderful recipes by Beard (those foodies in the know call him "Beard" or at least that's what they do around here!). I found a copy for $6. with shipping getting me the book for a whisker under $10. And, as quick as you can imagine, the book came on Saturday. It is a remarkable publication with color plates in each section--some spreads in color too. Then its an explosion of line and flat color illustrations which are a real poke in the side to me. I really identify with those...and should do a valentine or two modelled on the way they handle the color and the whimsical line. They are not afraid of doing little curlicues and swashes in a single line weight, blended with their storybook approach..charming. In the chicken section there are tons of fox in the hen house little references. Terrific negative and positive approaches...that show off their strong design abilities. This stuff is stylish, cute and funny--more like the Shaker book with animals and flat architecture. However, their greek myths peek out with greek recipes and the flair for those things for children appear regularly. I will post some of the these simpler images today/tomorrow.