Tuesday, August 4, 2009

origins of fur

Does this look like a book you'd like to see taking up room on your shelves? It's the fur-covered edition of Dave Eggers' "The Wild Things," the loose retelling of Maurice Sendak's "Where the Wild Things Are" and the yet to be released movie of the same name. It's an interesting gimmick though I have to wonder:
1) What wild thing is this cover supposed to resemble?
2) And haven't I seen this before?

I did a little bit of brainstorming to come up with a possible lineage of influence... do you think any of the following was the inspiration for this book's fuzzy cover?
image via AbeBooks

Could it be that Margaret Wise Brown's "Little Fur Family" (1946), illustrated by Garth Williams, was the big influence? It does have the Eggers' cover beat by over 60 years and it is about some mildly wild furry things... (If, in fact, it is an influence - at least Eggers' book is not covered with real rabbit fur as was the first edition of this children's picture book).

Meret Oppenheim's "Objet: dejeuner en fourrue" (Object: Luncheon in Fur), 1936
(info. about via MOMA)

Could this classic of Surrealism - fur covered teacup, saucer, and spoon - have stood the test of time as the originator of surprising things covered in fur? Is the Eggers' cover a shout out?

image via orble.com

Robert Downey Jr. looked soulful and hairy in "Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus," do you see a resemblance between this face and that book?

image via The Blue Harvest

Or is this handsome devil the original furred wild thing?

image via Cottage Way of Life

Could the influence of Little Edie's fashion, and the "Grey Gardens" documentary, have stretched to book design? I wouldn't be surprised....

image via nytimes' series "And the Pursuit of Justice" by Maira Kalman

Perhaps I'm not the only one who really got into the "John Adams" HBO series... Seems that Ben Franklin was one wild man while in Paris and everyone raved about his rustic fur hat.

image via AB IMO PECTORE

Or did it all begin here with a furry little wild thing and the desire to want to hold it in our hands?


  1. You have a charming blog {I liked John Adams too}!

  2. This post is filled with goodies. Meret Oppenheim's teapot is a classic. Have you seen the movie FUR? A fictional story about Diane Arbus?



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