BOOKSHELF The first house organ review; a new type of text book; Gloag's latest novel; the economics of portrait photography House Organs Autobiographical Textbook Satire The business of photography 155 HOUSE ORGAN HANDBOOK AND reviews 1939-40. By Francis R. Groves. Published by The Insti tute of House Organ Editors. 15s. THE PRESENT POPULARITY of house organs was foreshadowed over 18 years ago when the Editor of the (then) Austin Advocate found that over two-thirds of its readers would be willing to pay rather than to forego it. The Austin Magazineat fourpence, resulted. Since that time, this mushroom industry has increased to the issue of over 10,000,000 copies of house organs in Great Britain last year. This year sees the first standard work on the subject to be published in Britain. Its author, Francis R. Groves (himself producer of numer ous house organs and former editor of the house organ section of Advertising Worldtreats his sub ject practically, doctoring every complaint that is likely to come the way of the amateur publisher, from the naming of the house organ to the persuasion of other advertisers to pay for it. He divides his work into three sections book one is devoted to production, book two reviews British house organs in their astonishing diversity of pur pose, and book three is a miscellany of useful references. Each section gains by the author's extensive research, which contains enough information to equip any would-be producer, and in none does Mr. Groves' enthusiasm out-run the sober questions of paper cost and type-setting. For this alone his book deserves success. In production, the author applauds the change from orna mentation to simplicity the illustrations, for the most part, show exuberant misuse of both. Type specifications (after hovering over Gill, Caslon, Broadway, Rockwell and a little of something shaded) swoop to an uncertain realisation of Bodoni Ultra. But if, on this score, the book should be kept from the more sensitive typographers, there is no reason for its suppression among amateurs (who in any case crib from Lilliput). Otherwise the book makes an excellent guide. GRAVEN IMAGE. By John Farleigh. Macmillan. 15s. 1 have A desire to write a book about engraving and illustrating, though not another text-book. Engraving as an adventure Tech nique as a part of life It is not easy to say what sort of book I am hoping to writebut not another text-book. A record, per haps, of engraving as I have discovered it, step by step. Farleigh's book is a sincere and leisured discussion of himself and his work. His experiment, his progress, his technique and experi ence fall naturally into the account of each of his major works. His personal outlook and beliefs emerge pleasantly, without affectation. There is no suspicion of the columnist's confidence trick Farleigh speaks only of what may be discussed among people of similar interests, and he omits the oppressively personal. One is as grateful for his silence as for his speech. Text and illustration are in per fect continuitythe illustrations progress from the text, which is as it should be. They are many and superb. There is a wide choice for the studentpractical demonstra tion by diagram, photographed handling of tools, experimental blocks showing excursions in tech nique, progressive proofs of intri cate subjects, reproduction of work by past and contemporary artists. For the connoisseur, there is equally pleasant provision an assemblage of Farleigh's work that reiterates its excellence. The book's interest is evenly maintained, but one chapter, at least, demands prominence de voted to The Black Girl, it is largely given over to the letters (and, sur prisingly, the drawings) of Shaw. The recounted progress of the book is wholly absorbing, and Shaw as an art critic, and Farleigh as an artist, both emerge creditably. The chapters on Book Illus tration and Book Jackets might almost have formed a book by themselves (to be produced more within the student's price range), while Private Presses gives an insight into the artist's part in the production of limited edi tions. Though these sections are outstanding, the earlier part of the book has much to offer the ex perience of the artist's apprentice ship at art school, in search of a state of mindteaching public school artthe economics of artthe discovery of crafts manship. The practical hints that this volume contains are too profuse for individual mention, but they make it invaluable to the student. It would be worth its price for the vicarious experience obtainable from itit is generous in being also an interesting biography and a thoroughly useful reference. manna. A novel by John Gloag. Cassels. 7s. 6d. JOHN gloag can always be relied upon to provide something to think about. Manna is a satire upon our civilisation. The story is woven around a natural fooda kind of mushroomwhich grows prolific- ally everywhere, a small portion of which is more than sufficient for human satisfaction. Its use would banish starvation for all the peoples of the earth. What happened after its discovery Was it allowed to benefit mankind Were its dis coverers honoured It would be unfair to give away the theme, but read the book and see for yourself. If it doesn't make you think, there must be something wrong with you. PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHY AS A career. By Juan C. Abel. London Chapman Hall Ltd. 10s. 6d. net. this is A comprehensive work relating to the business side of the profession of portrait photography. Commencing with possibilities, the necessary preparation, starting for oneself, it considers the importance of name location and organisation, the handling of customers and staff, keeping accounts, publicity, law accounting and collections. It is written by an expert with long experience in the United States, and close research in Britain, and is well worthy of study by newcomers and established professionals alike.

Commercial Art / Art and Industry en | 1940 | | page 33