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funny art books, caustic captions

I'm working like a maniac on a picture book today, but I just had to show you this stuff I found when I came in to work. We have a bookshelf in the entrance lobby to the studio building where people sometimes leave books and magazines they don't want anymore.

I was just leafing through one of them, from 1966, and it gave me such a giggle. There's a list of editors in the front (including Henry Moore OM, The Duke of Bedford and Viscount Dunluce) but I'm very curious as to who wrote the photo captions. It sounds like some guy ran around taking pictures of what he thought were cool buildings, while another guy back in the office would look at the pages, smoking a stogey, with his feet up on the desk, and dictate to some bored secretary why the chosen buildings are a load of rubbish. I bet those dudes hated each other.

Here's the caption, enlarged for your delectation:

PREPOSTEROUS! I love it. Here's another one:

Why did they even bother?

I'm going to try to use the word phoney at least three times today. It sounds so Holden Caulfield.

Ha ha, these are so fabulous... I have to read a few more captions later.



( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 20th, 2012 11:23 am (UTC)
Supercilious captions for architectural photos.
User bunn referenced to your post from Supercilious captions for architectural photos. saying: [...] This LJ post from  cheered me up enormously this morning : funny art books, caustic captions [...]
Feb. 20th, 2012 02:00 pm (UTC)
Re: Supercilious captions for architectural photos.
I, too, am here from bunn's LJ; and it was well worth the journey!
Feb. 20th, 2012 02:02 pm (UTC)
Re: Supercilious captions for architectural photos.
Whoo hoo! Thanks for coming along for the ride! :D
Feb. 20th, 2012 12:10 pm (UTC)
More! More! More!

[This commenter, while laudably enthusiastic, clearly lacks any fine understanding of the subtle art of encouragement.]
Feb. 20th, 2012 12:13 pm (UTC)
Ha ha! Subtlety is vastly overrated. Will try! XD
Alison Mutton
Feb. 20th, 2012 03:31 pm (UTC)
Hahaha! These are fabulous! They remind me of our daily newspaper (I'm in Perth, Australia, so it's The West Australian) where every picture has to have a completely redundant caption, which absolutely must involve a colon. For example, in an article about rental prices, the caption is 'Offered more: x and x offered to pay $45 a week above the listed price', under a photo of a car up to its rear-vision mirrors in snow, the caption is 'Stranded: The snowed-in car in which the man was found near Umea in northern Sweden', and there's 'Peace time: Prime Minister Julia Gillard moves through the crowd gathered to mark the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Darwin.' (peace? You don't say!) How much I wish they had captions as hilarious as in your book, my day would be brightened up considerably. Plus, it's amazing how irritating poor colons can get by the time you've worked your way through an entire newspaper full of them!
Feb. 20th, 2012 10:57 pm (UTC)
Noooo, ha ha! Those colons sound wretched! We get those, too, The Metro newspaper springs to mind. I used to write captions for a newspaper and I tried not to do that sort of thing, but occasionally I'd get told off for editorialising too much.
Feb. 20th, 2012 08:31 pm (UTC)
Hee, marvellous. Just imagine what the comments would be on some of today's architecture!
Feb. 20th, 2012 10:58 pm (UTC)
I don't know if you could get away with such blanket denouncements in a supposedly serious book now! I'll have to keep an eye out for it.
Feb. 20th, 2012 09:49 pm (UTC)
So none of these building are in England, right? God forbid we compliment anything made by those dirty foreigners! As if anybody knew how to make anything out of England!
Feb. 20th, 2012 10:59 pm (UTC)
Oo, lots of English ones, too. But I think the caption writer saved most of his vitriol for the American edifices.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )


Sarah McIntyre

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