What’s the Story, Morning Glory?

Daily Draw September 10th, 2011

I pulled this card two days ago, but it took me so long to post this because I kept forgetting to photograph the flowers in the morning and they close up in the full sun later in the day. Morning Glories are one of my favourite flowers and almost every year for the past 24, we have had them growing up a window or wall in the garden. We tried to grow them on the post of the wren nesting box this year but the rabbits ate all the leaves, so we ended up with a small batch of them staked up in the garden by the sunporch.

This is from another of my postcard books, Art of the Japanese Postcard, which has Art Nouveau antique postcards from Japan.

MORNING GLORY from the series Postcards in Vogue (Jiko ehagaki)
Hashimoto Kunisuke, Japanese 1884-1953
Publisher: Mitsukoshi Kimono Store (Mitsukoshi gofukuten)
Japanese, late Meiji era
Color lithograph, ink and color on paper
8.8 x 13.8 cm
Leonard A. Lauder Collection of Japanese Postcards 2002.932

Usually on Japanese postcards, called e-hagaki, a blank area was left on the image for the message to be written, and this gives them a very modern, uncluttered look. At the beginning of the twentieth century, postcards became all the rage in Japan. Instead of the traditional woodblock prints, many famous artists in Japan made postcards and experimented with European designs of Art Nouveau and Art Deco. The country had opened up in the late nineteenth century and was modernizing, and several European artists like Egon Schiele and Oskar Kokoshka in Vienna, had designed and printed postcards, so Japanese artists were quite excited about the possibilities in this art form.

Somewhere along the way Leonard Lauder became captivated by this art and collected more than twenty thousand Japanese postcards, and in 2002 he donated them all to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Rightly so! They belong in an art gallery. There is a catalogue of an exhibition at the museum with 300 reproductions of these postcards in it and essays, and the book is still in-print for those who are interested. Chronicle Books, one of my favourite publishers, published my collection of 30 postcards. I took four of them and made covers for a Coptic stitch notebook, so I only have 26 left in my actual postcard box.

Postcards are still popular today in Japan, particularly for New Year’s. Similar to the response of dwindling “snail mail” over here in North America though, the publication of Japanese postcards has also diminished. It’s such a shame, I love postcards.

And who is Leonard A. Lauder we ask? Does the name “Lauder” ring a bell? Yes, he is Estée Lauder’s son, and for many years was CEO of the Estée Lauder Companies Inc. and is now Chairman Emeritus. His sons are involved in the business too. He has been Chairman of the Whitney Museum of Art in New York City since 1994 and is a major art collector. He began collecting postcards when he was six years-old. Imagine that. I like the fact that as a billionaire, he supports the Arts and museums and galleries.

Apart from being one of my favourite flowers, Morning Glory means that I am a morning person, I rise early and have buckets of energy in the morning, blooming at dawn like my flowers in the garden. This week I have been teaching myself to hand knit socks, and I have to do it early when my concentration is at its highest.

That’s the story.

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4 Comments on “What’s the Story, Morning Glory?”

  1. Max Basha Says:

    I love these energetic, fast-growing, elegant beauties as they cover a multitude of sins including ugly views and punishing afternoon sun. In Hawaii they are an invasive species so I don’t dare grow one even in a pot on the balcony. As a night girl, though, it’s the Moonflower that’s my favorite 😉 Debra

  2. woley Says:

    Fast-growing and a treat to the eye!!! I think these were the first packet of flowers we grew in our first house. The spouse tacked string up the window and they grew up there.

    Moonflowers are similar and my husband thinks we tried them once. No flowers–seems to be true for many in this area–perhaps too short a growing season?

    Rats!!

  3. Max Basha Says:

    Well in honesty I never got nearly so lush growth from the Moonflowers as the Morning Glories. Here I have two pots of Pakalana on the balcony growing up strings to the canopy I put up to shade from the punishing afternoon sun. The vines are spindly by nature, but their small yellow-white flowers have a heavenly fragrance–they are used in leis. Here’s a photo from the web: http://dotsthots.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/pakalana01-300×202.jpg I spend a lot of time worrying over them and tying them up and cheering them on and yet they are still pretty thin.

  4. woley Says:

    I never knew this was put in leis. They look fab to me and the scent sounds wonderful.

    Well, if you have to somewhere alone, Hawaii is not such a bad locale it seems to me. Years from now you will wake up thinking you smell Pakalena and you’ll reach out and “you know who” will be there again.


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