Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Vintage Martha

A reader sent me this scan from a January, 1968, issue of House Beautiful. As she was flipping through the pages, she was struck by the familiarity of a face in a vintage ad for stationery. Surely you'll be able to determine the identity of the sophisticated model in the photograph! It's actually spelled out for us in the caption: "We created the feel of kid - it's decidedly expressive - for Ms. Stewart's letters." Yes, it's Martha!

What's so funny and intriguing about this ad is that it's for Crane's stationery - the very company that Martha created a line of holiday and wedding cards with last year, 40 years after this ad campaign was snapped. I've often wondered how Martha managed to invent herself and the enormous empire she presides over. This ad and its implicit foreshadowing of a business deal to come seems to indicate careful planning, patience and insight into the possibility of partnership.

It's difficult to see in the photograph, but the stationery is actually embossed with the monogram, MKS (Martha Kostyra Stewart) I wonder what she's thinking. Probably, "One day I'll have a line of my own stationery with Crane's... Yes, one day."

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