unexpected art! at the library!

The Tuvalu Public Library has some nice gallery space downstairs. Sometimes the things on exhibit are boring and I can walk past them without thinking, but I'm often excited to see what's there - and this week I was tickled.
The exhibit is a private collection of advertising ephemera -

four eyes

Some of the pieces were the kind of things I've seen before...although these eyes were unusually well painted.

chimney sweep

And there were oddly pretty things too. This is a metal chimney-sweep sign from France in 1925.

we have crabs

"Amusing metal fishmonger sign, New England, circa 1950. Classic STD humor."
I wasn't aware there was a classic STD humor category.

the answer

A coffee shop sign from the 50's. Coffee IS the answer.

I love this one-

restaurant sign

This is an Underground Restaurant sign. "During the Depression, these were used to identify private houses that were operating as informal restaurants by those who needed the additional income." I'm not sure I understand that explanation, but I'm guessing it was used like Hobo signs. LOVE the hobo signs. I need to do a post on them.

waving man

Hey! Look at this guy!
He's a 'hopeful salesman' from outside an insurance office. Look at his eyes - he does look hopeful. Go buy some insurance!

This guy?


Not so much.
But I like him.


I like this guy too -


He's from outside a cafe.


This guy is a tourist. NOT a traveler - there's a difference.

big brush

This brush is as big as me, which is to say - about 5'2".


The monkey is original. The banana has been recently added, for authenticity.


This cow is lovely! Who doesn't love a cow?

But what did I love the best?

before and after

These boots.

And these.

big boots

Big giant rubber boots. Big. And giant.
I love them.


Unknown said…
There's a vintage eye glasses shop near our house with a neon sign very much like this one!

Happy Boxing Day!
RW said…
Remember your shoe photo/post? That is around the time I first discovered your blog.
The big, giant paintbrush. I hope THAT doesn't show up in the next Bottery Parn catalog!
Unknown said…
Oh, I just LOVE this stuff. This is so my taste. I'd kill for that chimney sweep sign, and the french waiter with the chicken...to die for. Love the monkey too, only the banana... I'd get rid of that. He needs a wooden banana.

The giant paintbrush is a riot.

Our library often has art shows, and some of the stuff is just so interesting. I've stood in front of things just wishing they would jump into my arms. We've got a guy in town that does the most amazing puzzles. I've never seen anything like them. They're totally hand cut with a jigsaw and the pieces are just amazing. In a music puzzle he'll have pieces as instruments, for example. They're so expensive, but I crave one.
Anonymous said…
The French waiter reminds me of Curly of The Three Stooges. Probably not the image the business was aiming for.
Iguana Banana said…
What great fun, weird, quirky stuff. It looks as if you had a grand time out!
Unknown said…
Fun stuff. And I've never heard of hobo signs - looking forward to being educated by bb.
country mouse said…
Oh--that poor door-to-door salesman in the blue suit! It looks as though he is forcing a cheerful wave hello while protecting his important bits with the briefcase . . .
What an interesting museum!

That paint brush is as big me, too.

As in 5'2".
Anonymous said…
A tasty library. They have Red Grooms next who is amazing and fun. At my house/ for my kids It would just be a giant ATM card hung outside.
Anonymous said…
Those signs rock! The cafe man makes me think of Alfred Hitchcock. I'd buy any of those metal signs for my house in a heartbeat.
Rae said…
Classic STD humor! That's the silliest thing I've heard in a long time...
MizMell said…
I have an attraction for the offbeat also. Love the pictures...thanks for sharing. (I like the paintbrush)
Kristin said…
I think those eyes might follow a person around the room... in a creepy red plaid shirt and overalls kind of a way...
Anonymous said…
Beautiful! Thed eyes remind me of Dr. TJ Eckleberg.

Anonymous said…
From this angle, at least, it looks like a bull.