Monday, March 25, 2013

The Sonora Aero Club Flies Again


 Charles Dellschau, who came from Prussia to Texas in 1853, made his living as a butcher. But he was obsessed with the idea of flight and, around the turn of the century, began to create scrapbooks filled with fantastic drawings and collages of speculative flying machines.

In 1969, a half dozen of Dellschau's scrapbooks, containing over 2,500 drawings, were discovered in a junk store in Houston.  

 (This post on Design Observer contains many more Dellschau images.)

 I absolutely adore stuff like this . . . incredibly detailed work produced by obsession.
 
 Dellschau created these books as the (fictional?) records of a secret organization that he called the Sonora Aero Club. He claimed to be the 'draftsman' and record keeper of the club -- a club, the existence of which is in doubt.

A commenter on one of the articles I've linked to speculated that Dellschau was a misplaced alien from another place or time who suffered at least partial amnesia and was recording bits of remembered technology.

Works for me.   

With thanks to Mario who posted this link on Facebook yesterday -- 
it's not all cute kittens and silly stuff over there.
 
Posted by Picasa

15 comments:

katy gilmore said...

Don't you love the composition of the fourth photo!? - like an Italian painting with a predella....do you think the printing is collaged on?
Thank you Vicki!

Ms. A said...

Goodness, those are certainly intricate, especially the last one. I sure would have liked to be the person to find that treasure!

Martin said...

Brilliant! And how we really need more people like Dellschau, now.

Thérèse said...

Fascinating!

Thérèse said...

Is it a book which goes around or stays in Houston?

Alan Burnett said...

Wonderfully inventive. Life would be so thoroughly dull without eccentricity - long may it continue.

Vicki Lane said...

Katy, I'm guessing it's collaged.

Therese -- I don't know the answer to that.

B. Rogers, Living in Black Mountain said...

Only a Texan...oops, well, anyone with wild and crazy ideas. Great creativity. And flying in outer space is just one aspect! Great color usage! Thanks so much for letting us see these. (PS I want to join the club)

Vicki Lane said...

And now I have to go look up predella.

Eileen Reilly Nephin Bish said...

Inspiring for sure!

Brian Miller said...

wow...fascinating for me as well...lov eall the detail in hsi drawings...and color as well....would love to see more of this...

JJM said...

You're welcome, Vicki -- and, next time, I'll photoshop a cute kitten doing silly stuff into one of the Dellschau air balloons ... [evil laughter] -- Mario R.

Vicki Lane said...

Mario -- a kitteh peeking out the windows of the vehicle in the next to last picture would be perfect...

Frances said...

Vicki, both this post and its predecessor are such joys to see. I do love the work or obsessive artists...particularly when the artist has talent. Those newly hatched chicks have timed their arrivals perfectly.

I'm making my own chick impressions right now to supply a sound track.

Happy Easter! xo

juliet said...

I enjoy images like this too - so charged with imagination. What a find!