Synopses & Reviews
The power of Christmas derives from the appeal of its repeated rituals, the presumed antiquity of its traditions, and its ability to adapt to changing cultural conditions. Christmas cards seemed inevitable and ubiquitous, but in recent years the genre has been visibly in decline. It is now evident that the Christmas card was a culturally specific artifact, a distinctive way in which a fundamental human gesture could be expressed within a commercial, materialistic, and rapidly changing society.and#160;
This stylish book explores the imagery, graphic forms, subject matter, and significance of Christmas cards in their chronological timeframe to reveal an important area of American material culture. There is much to surprise and delight.
"Whether you're a student of graphics and American material culture, or merely fascinated by the power of images and the appeal of Christmas, this book is well worth the price of admission. In fact, flipping through the pages is a bit like filling up on a bowl of Christmas candyand#8212;without the calories. Highly recommended."and#8212;Judy Penz Sheluk, New England Antiques Journal
"[T]houghtful and informative."and#8212;Maine Antique Digest
and#8220;It's a perfect guide for collectors of ephemera, collectors of graphic history, and, of course, collectors of Christmas material.and#8221;and#8212;Fine Books and Collections
About the Author
Kenneth L. Ames is professor of American decorative arts at the Bard Graduate Center. He is the author of Beyond Necessity: Art in the Folk Tradition and Death in the Dining Room and Other Tales of Victorian Culture, and editor of Victorian Furniture.