The last of literally HUNDREDS of National Geographic magazines that were handed down to me by my grandfather. He handed many twine-gathered bundles of these to me before he passed away in 1999 and I inherited many more afterward. Not content to let items such as these accumulate and stagnate on shelves, I've been cutting them up for two purposes: as source material for collages and also as clippings to be put in the many reference binders I began keeping years ago. These binders aren't genteel scrapbooks with quaint notions from other decades, but instead act as reference for paintings and drawings. The contents range from vintage advertisements and postcards to typography samples and purchased or found photographs... in other words, artifacts that have shaped my visual vocabulary.
While my reference binders (and two large boxes of collage material) are culled from 1940s - early 1970s issues of many publications (such as Life, Esquire, Look, and Better Homes & Gardens) a sizable chunk of what I've extracted and utilized has come from what you see a miniscule slice of above: something I like to call The Norman Nelsen Collection.
I thought I had processed them all ages ago, but last week my parents told me that several bundles of old Nat-Geos were sitting in an upstairs closet at their house and asked me to take them... so I did. Shortly before cutting them up, I decided to photograph them so I could share these last few iconic covers here and cast a short tribute to yet ANOTHER great thing that one of my grandparents gave me.
THANKS, POP! ...For this, and MANY other awesome things.