Wednesday 9 December 2009

Making a personal statement

Christmas card sent by Surrealist artist and poet Kay Sage to Eleanor Howland Bunce (1959).

Every wonder what kind of Christmas cards artists send to their family and friends? Well, the Smithsonian-Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture is currently showing over 100 personal holiday cards made by artists.
If you can't make it to this interesting exhibition you can browse their online image gallery, including beautiful work by Alexander Calder, Frederick Hammersley and Noche Christ, to name but a few.

Alexander Calder borrowed imagery from his Cirque Calder, a wire-sculpture circus, to create this playful card in 1930.

Frederick Hammersley used his keen sense of colour and precisionist style to create this screen-printed Christmas card design. No date.

Noche Crist, an artist who lived in Washington, D.C., sent this screen-printed image of the C&O Canal in Washington’s Georgetown neighborhood to fellow D.C.-based artist Prentiss Taylor in 1962.

Found via Covenger + Kester.


  1. This speaks to me, the vintage feel, the simplicity and colors...this is just too good.

  2. Once more, thank you for this wonderful find ;) Christmas cards that don't like look Christmas time!

  3. Oh they are all gorgeous. i'm finding it hard to pick a favourite. Thanks for posting this Deb, I'm going to check out the page today. good relax and coffee break reading time. :)

  4. I love that typed card. I was born in Woodstock, NY in the mid-60s, and both my parents were artists. Most of our friends were as well, some of them quite famous. Nobody had a whole lot of money, and everyone was creative on a very high level. So come holidays, everyone would spend weeks coming up with hand-made gifts, cards and wrapping - each piece a work of art in itself. I wish now that we had collected all the wrapping, cards and gifts...what a collection we would have! Museum-worthy. This card reminds me of that time.

  5. Oh they are gorgeous. I think my fave is the Xmas wish one although i love the first one too and crist's and... thanks for sharing

  6. What a super romantic x mas card :D

  7. love the Frederick Hammersley card gorgeous


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