Wacky, Wonky, Wonderful: Pablo's Pics

The first of a new series where we select a member of the Bridgeman team to highlight images in the archive that have caught their eye.

Pablo Navarro MacLochlainn at his desk in Bridgeman's cataloguing department
Pablo Navarro MacLochlainn at his desk in Bridgeman's cataloguing department

 

"This was tough. Do I choose pictures that make me seem super highbrow and tasteful? Or the five most marketable? My actual top five? What even are they? Who even am I? Did some soul-searching; went with the ones that genuinely bring me the most joy to behold.

"Here they are, in ascending order..."

 


5. The Nightbear


Don’t sleep.

This thing is apparently a "highly desirable collectors’ item". To which collectors it is highly desirable is what I don’t want to know.

 

Elliot, a unique blue plush covered Steiff teddy bear, c.1908, Photo © Christie's Images
Elliot, a unique blue plush covered Steiff teddy bear, c.1908, Photo © Christie's Images

 

 

Lucian with fox cub, 2005 (photo), David Dawson (b.1960) / Private Collection
Lucian with fox cub, 2005 (photo), David Dawson (b.1960) / Private Collection

 

 

4. Freud VS Fox

 

A grown-up version of the photo shoots they used to do in Smash Hits of boy bands playing with puppies.

 

 

 

3. Where do I even begin with this one..?


This is outrageous. There is a lady riding a flying goat. There is an iguana. There is a skeletal pelican (a Skelican). There is an overweight gentleman with an excellent beard, and a decaying corpse that is about to pinch a granny’s bum, her cat is there too, everyone is naked in the sky...

 

Faust's Vision, 1878 (oil on canvas) by Luis Riccardo Falero (1851-96) / Private Collection
Faust's Vision, 1878 (oil on canvas) by Luis Riccardo Falero (1851-96) / Private Collection

 

 

The Town (detail) by August Johan Strindberg (1849-1912) / © Nationalmuseum, Stockholm, Sweden
The Town (detail) by August Johan Strindberg (1849-1912) / © Nationalmuseum, Stockholm, Sweden

 



2. Civilisation VS The Awesome Power of Nature
 

One of my absolute favourite artworks. Strindberg, known mostly as a playwright than a great painter, but an exuberant misanthropy shines through here without the laboured artfulness that makes a lot of his writing so unbelievably dry. Did my final dissertation on him - can you tell?
 

 

1. And finally, some old socks


These are the actual socks, as they appear today, of Ernest Shackleton and his comrades, which have been drying in the hut on Cape Royds since the Nimrod expedition departed in search of the South Pole in 1908. They shot far wide of it, but they are heroes, and these are their socks. BOOM.

 

Interior view (photo) / Shackleton's Hut, Cape Royds, Ross Island, Antarctica / Photo © Sue Flood
Interior view (photo) / Shackleton's Hut, Cape Royds, Ross Island, Antarctica / Photo © Sue Flood

 

 

Baby Panda China, 2011 (b/w photo), Shaun Taylor McManus (Contemporary Artist) / Private Collection
Baby Panda China, 2011 (b/w photo), Shaun Taylor McManus (Contemporary Artist) / Private Collection

 

 

 

Click on the panda for a lightbox of my runners-up. It’s quite heavy on dogs/cute animals/erotic surrealism.


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