Bicycles: Vintage People on Photo Postcards by Tom Phillips
To celebrate the acquisition of the Tom Phillips archive, the Bodleian Library has asked the artist to assemble and design a series of books drawing on his themed collection of over 50,000 photographic postcards. These encompass the first half of the twentieth century, a period in which, thanks to the ever cheaper medium of photography, 'ordinary' people could afford to own their portraits. Bicycles documents the great age of the safety bicycle which was the instrument of emancipation for women and freedom for men. Also we see competitive racers and pedalling toddlers. Each book contains 200 images chosen with the eye of a leading artist from a visually rich vein of social history. Their covers will also feature a thematically linked painting, especially created for each title, from Tom Phillips' signature work, A Humument.