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Art History Lesson Part 2: Cavallini Botanica Calendars

4 Sep

Cavallini & Co., known for their high quality and exquisite craftsmanship, celebrates the work of renowned artists in their beautiful calendars. Two popular calendar designs feature inspired global artwork. These two calendars hail from very different points in history, but both honor a rich artistic tradition. The first I posted about was Cavallini’s most popular calendar prints: Japanese Woodblocks. The second, today’s post, is Cavallini’s Botanica print calendars.

Cavallini Botanica’s Beginning

Cavallini 2013 Wall Calendar - Botanica on EuropeanPaper.comBorn in 1746, William Curtis began his career in England as an apothecary. Soon he branched off into natural history, and he developed a specific interest in botany. In 1779 he established his own botanic garden.

In 1787, Curtis founded The Botanical Magazine. The publication featured hand-colored plates of floral prints and journal articles about gardening and botany. Later, the publication was renamed Curtis’s Botanical Magazine.

Botanical illustrators provided finely detailed plates, and descriptions accompanied each rendering in the publication. This highly regarded publication was one of the first to introduce such illustrations to the general public.

Curtis only lived to see the first 13 volumes. However, Curtis’s Botanical Magazine is still published today by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. According to the publisher, “Now well over two hundred years old, the Magazine is the longest running botanical periodical featuring colour illustrations of plants. Each four-part volume contains 24 plant portraits reproduced from watercolour originals by leading international botanical artists. Detailed but accessible articles combine horticultural and botanical information, history, conservation and economic uses of the plants described.”

The first 164 volumes of the publication are collected and housed at the National Agricultural Library in Beltsville, Maryland. In addition, several of the publication’s earliest issues are available online through The Gutenberg Project.

The beautifully illustrated floral prints in the Cavallini calendar first appeared in Curtis’s Botanical Magazine in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. See them all in Cavallini’s Botanica Wall and Easel Calendars.

Cavallini 2013 Wall Calendar - Botanica on EuropeanPaper.com

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 Meet the Writer:Maggie Marton is a freelance writer who lives in Bloomington, Indiana, with her husband and their three darling dogs. View more of Maggie’s work at MaggieMarton.com

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Art History Lesson: Cavallini Japanese Woodblocks Calendar

23 Aug

Cavallini & Co., known for their high quality and exquisite craftsmanship, celebrates the work of renowned artists in their beautiful calendars. Two popular calendar designs feature inspired global artwork. These two calendars hail from very different points in history, but both honor a rich artistic tradition. The first I’ll dive into is Cavallini’s most popular calendar prints: Japanese Woodblocks. The second, coming in a separate post, is Cavallini’s Botanica print calendars.

Japanese Woodblock Art Origin

Cavallini 2013 Wall Calendar - Botanica on EuropeanPaper.comJapanese woodblock art, or moku hanga, was popularized in Japan in the 17th to 19th centuries. In style, Japanese woodblocks are similar to woodcut art that was popular in the West.  The technique involves an artist drawing an image or writing text on a piece of Japanese paper, washi, then gluing it to a wood block. Carvers then carved out sections of the drawing from the wood, and the final block was colored with colorful water-based inks, or black in the case of text. This was a very collaborative form of art since it involved several skilled artisans to complete each print.

Later, a movement of the moku hanga style emerged, called shin-hanga. The term shin-hanga was coined in 1915. This style brought back the traditional woodblock art. Shin-hanga really means “new prints.” In the early 1920s, shin-hanga style artwork was immensely popular in Western cultures because the romantic style conveyed an idyllic and serene picture of Japan. The images included peaceful landscapes and traditional wooden Japanese architecture.

Cavallini’s Japanese Woodblocks Artist

Born in 1883, Kawase Hasui was a Japanese artist who worked in the shin-hanga style. Over the course of his career, Hasui became one of the most notable artists of the shin-hanga movement. Hasui traveled throughout Japan often, and his work reflects the picturesque landscapes and rural scenes he encountered across Japan.

Sadly, many of Hasui’s early woodblock prints were destroyed in 1923 during a massive earthquake. Because few were reprinted, surviving works from his early career are now highly sought after by collectors.

In 1953, Hasui’s work was honored by the Japanese government. While they were going to honor Hasui as a National Living Treasure, the government decided, instead, to commission a special woodblock print. The print, the Snow at Zozoji Temple, was designated and honored as an Intangible Cultural Treasure. Finally, in 1956, Hasui received the honor of being named a National Living Treasure.

By his death in 1957, Hasui produced more than 600 prints. Cavallini’s Japanese Woodblocks Wall and Easel Calendars feature Hasui’s picturesque landscapes and rural scenes in the traditional woodblock art form.

Cavallini 2013 Easel Calendar - Japanese Woodblocks on EuropeanPaper.com

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 Meet the Writer:Maggie Marton is a freelance writer who lives in Bloomington, Indiana, with her husband and their three darling dogs. View more of Maggie’s work at MaggieMarton.com

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Have a Fab 2013 with Cavallini Calendars

18 Aug

Shop Cavallini 2013 Calendars on EuropeanPaper.com

It’s that time of year! Exquisite Cavallini Calendars have landed in our warehouse and we’re ready to start shipping them out to you! Whether you love to travel near or far, stay home and tend to your flowers and garden, or visit your local park for birdwatching, we’ve got a Cavallini 2013 Calendar print that is perfect for you.

Take a Mental Holiday with Cavallini & Co.

23 Nov

Cavallini Brand Story on EuropeanPaper.com

Cavallini’s Roots

Cavallini and Co., one of our most distinctive brands, is devoted to vintage. Classic illustrations of major cities and the natural world create a certain allure to Cavallini’s products.

Cavallini & Co. was founded by Brad Parberry in 1989. Parberry had spent a year of his college experience in Florence, Italy, where he saw a beautiful line of calendars and saw an opportunity in them for the U.S.  He found the source company that had created the calendars in a phone book, gave them a call, and the rest—as they say—is history. From this lucky finding in Florence and a single phone call, Cavallini established a relationship with the Italian calendar designer that lasted for twenty years.

Parberry began the company, originally in his San Francisco apartment, by selling two calendars that looked very much like the wall calendars Cavallini sells today. Those first calendars were designed in Italy by the company he’d befriended. As the company began to flourish and grow, Parberry began finding his own vintage images and created designs for all of the calendars he was offering. As a personal touch, Parberry chose his grandmother’s family name to represent his new paper products and christened the company, “Cavallini.”

Distinct Italian Style

To this day, the company is located in San Francisco and, as such, they have several San Francisco-themed products in their inventory. But Cavallini has a wide and worldly influence when it comes to the images and themes included on their items, such as images from London, Paris, and New York.

All of Cavallini’s products, from its rubber stamps to its charming postcards, carry the feel of days gone by. Its line of New York-themed products, for instance, feel as if they’ve stepped straight from a store in the 1920′s and into Cavallini. The city is portrayed in an art deco style, almost as though the notebooks are advertisements for the World’s Fair. Likewise, many of their city-themed products look like those large canvas suitcases that characters in old films plaster with travel stickers.

All of the products offered by Cavallini are designed at their San Francisco offices by a team of graphic designers who collaborate to create the products and the ideas behind them. From there, a graphics team pull images from Cavallini’s vast archives and put together the finished items.

Cavallini

Sookie Koban, an employee with Cavallini, says the company is possesses  a large archive filled with vintage images that they’ve collected over the years. These images, Koban says, come from “postcard shows, antique stores and from vintage books.” When using these images, Cavallini endeavors to “retain the integrity and authenticity of the images” they collect.

Highlights

When it comes to signature items, Cavallini prides itself on its line of calendars. Koban describes Cavallini’s calendars as “unique in the marketplace as they focus on beautiful art prints.” The calendars are all printed on Italian cream laid paper, a fitting choice since the company began with the calendars Brad Parberry first found in Florence.

The driving philosophy of Cavallini, as described by Ms. Koban, is “to [create] unique high quality products.” This philosophy is evident in every product that Cavallini offers. With each vintage styled creation, Cavallini promises to give its customers an office supply that will stand out among the others on their desks. The imagery used by Cavallini may have otherwise been forgotten, but they bring new life to it through their notebooks, thank you cards, and other office ephemera.

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Meet the Writer: Mary Egan is a recent graduate of Lewis University and is currently interning with a publishing company in Chicago; she also has more pens and notebooks than she knows what to do with. She is the founder of the Jet Fuel Review, a student-run literary journal, and still blogs for them at Lewis Lit Journal.

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