Here are more than 200 posts on Jan and Cora Gordon; famous travellers, writers, artists and musicians in the first half of the 20th century. They were articulate witnesses to the cultures and events of Europe and the USA from before WW1 to just after WW2. The abundance of primary materials presented here should make this a valuable resource for researchers. For a structured overview of the lives and works of the Gordons, please visit: http://www.pbase.com/hajar/art_of_jan_and_cora_gordon
The Terre Haute Saturday Spectator 1925 on Jan and Cora Gordon's "Two Vagabonds in the Balkans"
The Terre Haute Saturday Spectator (Saturday, June 27, 1925), Indiana carried the following brief account of "Two Vagabonds in the Balkans" by Jan and Cora Gordon, concluding with:
"It is a book to be given to everyone who thinks he has seen all of Europe when he has been to Paris, Rome and Stratford on Avon."
This book continued on from the first two travel books by the Gordons, both set in Spain. An overview of the "Two Vagabonds" series can be found here.
Jan and Cora Gordon visited Albania in the summer of 1925 and in 1927 published the book " Two Vagabonds in Albania ." Two phrases from this book resonated when I first read it: " Now and again a wolf howled from far away, and somewhere a kid, lost or smelling some wolf-taint in the air, bleated with persistent terror " pg. 138. and " As we came down into the cultivated fields of the valley we found ourselves walking through clouds of red-winged grasshoppers, which sprang up on all sides with a clattering flight ." pg. 139 The book begins with "Don't stay in Durazzo." From Durazzo they made a clockwise loop to the south, passing through Tirana, Elbasan, Berat, Kelcyre, Permeti and Gjinokastro before returning north to Tirana. The second leg of the journey was an excursion to the north, from Scutari up into the mountains. Map of prominent places visited on the southern loop described in "Two Vagabonds in Albania"
Dazzle painting of ships has fascinated many since its first deployment during WW1, spawning numerous articles, books and imitations. The artist and writer Jan Gordon was one of the original protagonists; he designed dazzle patterns, wrote about the principles and practice of the art, and remembered those days fondly when later dedicating one of his books to a dazzle painting colleague, Steven Spurrier. One of the dazzle designs produced by Jan Gordon was that for HMS Southampton and I discuss below the available information on this design. I also recently bought the book " A Naval Lieutenant 1914-1918," which gives an account of the wartime experiences of the Southampton, with several contemporary comments on camouflage and dazzle. Camouflage of ships in WW1 At the beginning of WW1 in 1914 , Stephen King-Hall (as "Etienne"), serving on HMS Southampton , recalled, " After the big sweep we all went to Loch Ewe to coal, and here I remember noticing the ba
Jan Gordon 's book, " The Ostwald Colour System, An Elementary Introduction " (1938, Reeves & Sons) is very rarely seen. This work was the only one missing from the list of Jan Gordon's books produced for his memorial exhibition in 1944 . Gordon begins with, " To understand sufficiently how the Ostwald Colour system was constructed and to understand how it may be used is not, I believe, as difficult as many would have us think ." The book cover He recommends the system to artists, " making them more keenly aware of the properties of colours in harmonious associations " and also for use in schools, " by helping pupils to realise what a colour is, what it can do and how it may be combined with other colours ." The achromatic scale and the 8 hues and 24 colour circle (left) and isotint, isotone and isovalent circles (right) "The Ostwald system creates a colour space based on dominant wavelength, purity, and l