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Reproduction

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by

Sunil Manghani

on 2 October 2012

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Transcript of Reproduction

Richard Hamilton's collage (made in 1956) 'Just What Is It that Makes Today's Homes So Different, So Appealing?' consists of images taken mainly from American magazines. The principal template was an image of a modern sitting-room in an advertisement in Ladies Home Journal for Armstrong Floors, which describes the "modern fashion in floors". The title is also taken from copy in the advert, which states "Just what is it that makes today's homes so different, so appealing? Open planning of course - and a bold use of color."

The image is often described as being 'tabular' as well as 'pictorial' since the process began with a simple list, or 'table' of interests:

Man
Woman
Humanity
History
Food
Newspapers
Cinema
TV
Telephone
Comics (picture information)
Words (textual information)
Tape recording (aural information)
Cars
Domestic applicances
Space

The body builder is Irwin 'Zabo' Koszewski, winner of Mr L.A. in 1954. The photograph is taken from Tomorrow's Man magazine, September 1954. The artist Jo Baer, who posed for erotic magazines in her youth, has stated that she is the burlesque woman on the sofa, but the magazine from which the picture is taken has not been identified. The staircase is taken from an advertisement for Hoover's new model "Constellation",and it was sourced from the same issue of Ladies Home Journal, June 1955, as the Armstrong Floors ad. The picture of the cover of Young Romance was from an advertisement for the magazine included in its sister-publication Young Love (no 15, 1950). The TV is a Stromberg-Carlson, taken from a 1955 advert. Hamilton asserted that the rug was a blow-up from a photograph depicting a crowd on the Whitley Bay beach, but this cannot be confirmed. The image of planet Earth at the top was cut from Life Magazine (Sept 1955). The original reference image for the collage from Life Magazine supplied to Hamilton is in the John McHale archives at Yale University. It was one of the first images to be layed down in the collage. The Victorian man in the portrait has not been identified. The periodical on the chair is a copy of The Journal of Commerce, founded by Samuel Morse of Yale. The tape recorder is of known make, but the source of the image has not been identified. The view through the window is a widely reproduced photograph of the exterior of a cinema in 1927 showing the premiere of the early "talkie" film, The Jazz Singer starring Al Jolson. John Berger, Ways of Seeing (BBC, 1972) Richard Hamilton (1922 -) is an English painter and collage artist. His 1956 collage titled 'Just What Is It that Makes Today's Homes So Different, So Appealing?' produced for the 'This Is Tomorrow' exhibition of the Independent Group in London, is considered by critics and historians to be one of the early works of Pop Art. Reproduction Just what is it that makes today's homes do different, so appealing? An Ecology of Images
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