Thursday, June 24, 2010

Something fishy

Perhaps it's the torrential rain we've experienced in Indiana lately that inspires today's posting of a fish design in lineoleum created by the Fort Wayne-based architect Alvin Strauss in 1936 for an addition built onto Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Isay's house in South Whitley, Indiana. The stylized fish themselves appear as though they would be right at home in a Betty Boop cartoon, thanks to their prominent lips and curvaceous figures. By the time Strauss drew these in 1936, Betty Boop had already starred in a series of animated films and was incredibly popular across the country, so it is probable the architect had been influenced by the cartoons he had seen at the theater.

The extensive Strauss Architectural Records Collection contains drawings of theaters, residences, businesses, and schools built primarily in the northeast region of the state in the early 20th century. The collection is available for research. During the summer, the archive is by appointment only and you can schedule a visit by calling 765-285-8441.

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