I have always been intrigued by the graphics of previous generations. There is something haunting, compelling, provocative, sometimes downright humorous about these images. I have often used them in my own art work and have a collection of such books in my own library. Then I ran across “The Reanimation Library,” an actual library with an accessible digital presence as well, which is dedicated to the creative revival of these visuals and their texts. In their own words,
The Reanimation Library is a small, independent Presence Library open to the public. It is a collection of books that have fallen out of routine circulation and been acquired for their visual content. Outdated and discarded, they have been culled from thrift stores, stoop sales, and throw-away piles, and given new life as a resource for artists, writers, cultural archeologists, and other interested parties.
Below are some of the intriguing images ripe with creative potential that I found in the Reanimation Library. Of course, I know only too well that in not so many years, contemporary illustrations that I live with everyday will grow in unexpected meaning and hold quirky observations to future generations.
In the meantime, I have already begun to collect a few of these non-contemporary and rather mysterious images for visual play, reanimating, if you will, and transforming their unintended significance and inference.
The Reanimation Library can be accessed here.