Ahhh, “Beautiful Memories” indeed. Such is the self-titled name of the Pop Art Vintage Camera Collection of cards, gift wrap, and disposable placemats conceived by London-based photographer Antony Nobilo. Who doesn’t wax nostalgic for photos of yesteryear? There is something truly magical about stumbling across a hand-processed image.
Who remembers Kodachrome? Back in the day, this film richly captured color, softness and nuances unlike digital — and was highly used by amateur and professional photographers around the globe. But by 2010, only one Kodak-certified facility remained: Dwayne’s Photo in Parsons, Kansas. The last roll of Kodachrome film was developed there for for a photographer on assignment for National Geographic. These historic prints are permanently on display in the George Eastman House, the world’s oldest museum dedicated to photography. Vanity Fair also published them for posterity’s sake.
History buffs and camera lovers alike can now rejoice because the Pop Art Vintage Camera Collection really does provide a snapshot of another moment in time. Dozens of note cards harken back to another era with images of Leica, Polaroid, Ricoh, Contax, Canon, Minolta and more. The cameras, in fact, are owned by Antony — and a curator’s dream. What originally started as a itemization for insurance purposes became a photographic retrospective. What retro beauties! These cards deserve gallery framing.
To wit, an impressive sample list of his stockists are those with discriminating taste:
- MOMA, New York
- The Natural History Museum, New York
- The Institute of Contemporary Art, London
- The Victoria and Albert Museum, London
- The ICA, London
- The Conran Shop, London & Paris
- The Institute of Modern Art, Ireland
You can also buy Pop Art Vintage Camera merchandise in Antony’s Etsy shop.
Importantly, I think this look back in time is important. Beautiful memories were captured by these lenses. It reminds us that what’s here today will — all too soon — be gone tomorrow.
And this fact of life brings me to letter-writing….
While we can no longer shoot with Kodachrome abandon, you can each grab a vintage camera-adorned card, write down your thoughts and send them along to someone you miss. Reminisce about times gone by or future moments to come. Your sentiment will also be captured forever in print … and then you can Instagram it.