A FORGOTTEN LEGACY

WHY

WONDERFUL PERIOD?

¿POR QUÉ
WONDERFUL PERIOD?

Why? What is it? Is it a page about the past? A photography website? A discussion site? A studio? First of all, this is a site dedicated and eminently inspired by a bygone era; it feeds on its concepts, ideals, virtues, illusions and feelings that, although not always exclusive to it, coincided and shone in a surprisingly exceptional way in a recent period of History.

Fotografía por Jack Delano, dic. 1942

It is so amazing for those who have eyes to see it, as it is difficult to describe to those who have not yet seen it. The intense and at the same time humble sense of beauty that is evident in the images created in that period – static or moving, illustration or photography – is a first sample of what awaits those who dare to enter without pretence or vain prejudices in their legacy.

Life, the way it was understandood, the concept of humanity, its morality, are the true foundations of what flourished afterwards. A time that would have not existed without, like an iceberg, the deep and solid precedent and heritage handed down by previous generations, with its lights and shadows.

Zenith of several generations, it overcame the contradictions and digressions of the turn of the century, filtering and crystallizing the successes and errors – admirable or pathetic – of the past, in a hard to define spirit, in a lodestar that seemed to inspire their actions, and to instinctively reject evil, ugliness, stupidity and the empty of content.

In short, although the time had its shadows, an effort was made to show and enhance the lights, seeking to emphasize the lofty; it is what art reflected, its uses and customs, cinema, everyday life … As a line that separated the valid from the invalid.

It was, in essence, a traditional life as regards it is logical to extol the good, which has value, although not always so clear or so perfect, but whenever it was in the right direction. As opposed to valuing -as nowadays- by circumstantial, selfish or interested purposes, which has no merit or virtue.

Our personal project

Wonderful Period is also a place where we share our particular attempt to get closer to what that period conveyed in the artistic field, specifically in photography, during a period of splendour in which it was often closely linked to the world of cinematography.

Here you will find examples of our humble progress in the pursuit of that ideal of photography that does not focus exclusively on the most formal aesthetic part, nor is it obtained only by mimicking techniques (black and white) or subjects (“retro” air), but rather to project something more from an image.

The biggest challenge that our model offers us is to achieve what can not be explained (nor is indeed explained) in any user manual or in any specialized training.And we believe that in order to achieve this, in the first place the admiration and enthusiasm for those times plays a first order role; then the study or analysis of that way of doing and the ways of living in the period to understand why in the artistic plane the achievements that we all know today and that are so difficult to reproduce convincingly, were achieved.

Although the comparisons are odious, they are part of our “trial and error” system; there is no better way to become aware of one’s own limitations than to gather courage and try it.

It is an especially difficult adventure when one sets goals that are perhaps too demanding and work with scarce material resources, little experience and knowledge, and hardly any historical references.

There are many hours invested and often discouraging the results obtained, but with passion and enthusiasm we also enjoy every little achievement in this eagerness that is to approach the art that left the great masters of the time.

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  • 1925

    The Everlasting Man

    Gilbert K. Chesterton publishes his masterpiece.

  • 1930

    Hollywood's first golden age

    Hollywood's first golden age

    Strengthening of cinema with the introduction of sound. In the decade of the 30s the language of cinema takes a leap forward as an artistic language by itself. The strength, intense credibility and deep humanity of his scripts, direction, interpretations, as well as photography and staging are the preface of what will come in the next decade. The Public Enemy (1931), Shanghai Express (1932), Design for Living (1933), Treasure Island (1934), Captains Courageous (1937), are just a few examples.

  • 1931

    Hays Code

    It begins to apply -officially in 1934- the “Motion Picture Production Code”, known as the Hays code. The code, voluntarily promoted and assumed by the same producers, took shape in a document that gathered the moral limits and principles commonly rooted in the society of their time, serving as a guide against potential excesses, in order not to go beyond the limits of the that was considered correct, acceptable and tasteful.

    It was not a reformist reaction to dialogues or rude contents, but a materialization of a way of understanding life, much deeper and rooted in people and with a much more noble and far-reaching purpose; the conservation of the life meaning and lifestyle.

    Unlike the ridiculous and interested interpretations of critics and snobs, it was far from being a code that shaped the cinema creating an artificial vision of life, but, logically, it was the opposite: it added on and developped -perhaps unconsciously -the language of cinema as never before (neither after), the human strength of their stories, their timelessness and especially their authenticity, when polishing, limiting and avoiding leftovers, distractions or abuses, as well as avoiding their kidnapping as an ideological tool for the satisfaction and benefit of social reformists, pedants, critics and politicians. Otherwise, its quality and realism would have been hopeless burdened. Although, obviously, this will appear paradoxical -or unacceptable- in the eyes of those who can not -or wish not to- understand it.

  • 1934

    Leopold Stokowski

    Leopold Stokowski records with the Philadelphia Orchestra his transcriptions of works by J.S. Bach, including the magnificent Chaconne.

  • 1936

    Gilbert Keith Chesterton

    The English thinker and writer Gilbert Keith Chesterton publishes his autobiography completing his work in this way and leaving a legacy of insurmountable clarity, humanity and truth.

  • 1936

    RMS Queen Mary makes her maiden voyage

    RMS Queen Mary makes her maiden voyage

    The RMS Queen Mary liner makes its maiden voyage, thus initiating the long career of what would be the benchmark of elegant, comfortable and rational travel style for more than three decades.

  • 1937

    The Old Mill & Snowwhite and the seven dwarfs

    The Old Mill & Snowwhite and the seven dwarfs

    Walt Disney produces two of the most outstanding works in the history of art, animation and cinematography, which would be followed by other masterpieces such as Pinocchio, Fantasia, Bambi, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, etc.

  • 1938

    Pan-American Clipper

    Pan American introduces to its transoceanic lines (Pacific and Atlantic) the magnificent Boeing 314 Clipper improving and expanding the service already offered until then. Along with Imperial Clipper’s Short Empire Clipper, it was a paradigm of rational, comfortable and safe long-range travel.

  • 1939

    The most prolific year of Hollywood

    The most prolific year of Hollywood

    Films like Ninotchka, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Intermezzo, Stagecoach, Wuthering Heights, Gone with the Wind among so many, portray the unattainable peak of an era of great quality in their productions, combining first-class artistic sense, spontaneity and authenticity, elegance, and -surprising as it may seem from our current perspective-humility, shining therefore with its own light far above its own creators and original objetives.

  • 1940

    Cinema golden age

    Production, direction, scripts, performances, staging … nothing was left without being exceptional. The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947), The Maltese Falcon (1941), Waterloo Bridge (1940), The Big Sleep (1946), Laura (1944), Brief Encounter (1945), To Be or Not to Be (1942), Johnny Eager (1942), Odd Man Out (1947), High Wall (1947), The Curse of the Cat People (1944), La belle et la bête (1946) they are only a very small sample of works where the sense, beauty, feeling, philosophy of life and humanity, drama and ingenuity, staging and “genuineness” are the product of a talent, virtues and personality which rest unexplained under the light of a society as the current, intoxicated of relativism and blinded by the pursuit of efficiency and selfish and immediate benefit (not always economic).

    In between two decades, 1930s and 1940s, it was also the golden decade of Frank Capra, director of exceptional masterpieces imbued with the essence of a bygone era that one would say was able to find -intimately and perhaps unconsciously- the secret of life: from It Happened One Night (1934) to It’s a Wonderful Life (1946), through masterpieces like Meet John Doe (1941), Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936), Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939), Arsenic and Old Lace (1944) or You Can’t Take it With You (1938).


    In 1940, the Metro Goldwyn Mayer, hand in hand with Hanna & Barbera, starts the cartoon series Tom & Jerry. Starting the first and best period that would last until 1958. Fun, tender and endearing, the attention to detail put into these drawings goes far beyond commercial production.

  • 1942

    Carl Barks: The Good Duck Man

    Carl Barks: The Good Duck Man

    Carl Barks takes over the Donald Duck comics, starting with “Donald Duck finds Pirate Gold” and producing during the following three decades about 500 stories full of realism, humanity, ingenuity and ideals, overflowing the barrier of time and the theoretical purpose of a children’s entertainment.

  • 1943

    Norman Rockwell

    Norman Rockwell

    Norman Rockwell represented, as few have, the principles that distinguished the society of that time, throughout his career since the 20s and for more than four decades. In 1943 he created the series Four Freedoms, based on the ideals of Franklin D. Roosevelt.

  • 1944

    Renata Tebaldi makes her debut

    Renata Tebaldi makes her debut

    Who would be for many the greatest opera diva of the twentieth century begins her career in Rovigo, followed by her debut at La Scala in Milan in 1946, which definitively would brought her to fame.

  • 1946

    Blake & Mortimer

    Edgar P. Jacobs creates the comic characters Blake & amp; Mortimer. Series that brought some of the best albums of the genre, created under an intense artistic conception, they are full of atmosphere, ingenuity, realism, and humanity, describing a real world, dramatic and at the same time truely elegant and orderly, based on solid convictions, faced to his eternal threats.

  • 1948

    Jaguar XK120

    Jaguar XK120

    Jaguar produces one of its most emblematic models and the first produced completely after the war. Designed as a prototype, due to the interest raised Jaguar decided to produce it in series. Manufactured from 1948 to 1954 with a maximum speed close to 200 km/h, it was -and still is- one of the most beautiful and elegant sport cars.

  • 1950

    Dinu Lipatti passes away

    The pianist Dinu Lipatti dies, only three months after his last concert – executed already sick.
    Short career pianist -debutó in 1935- but of exceptional technique, second only to his exquisite sensitivity and delicacy to interpret, like no other, the works of Chopin, Bach and Liszt among others. His recordings of Chopin’s waltzes are superb a reference for lovers of classical music.

  • 1953

    The Yellow "M"

    Edgar P. Jacobs finishes his masterpiece, together with The Mystery of the Great Pyramid. Exciting, mysterious and full of drama and authenticity, it boasts perfect narrative, staging and characterization. An authentic masterpiece, never surpassed.

  • 1955

    Disneyland opening

    Disneyland opening

    Walt Disney inaugurates Disneyland, in California, the new amusement park based on its creations and divided into different thematic areas:

    To all who come to this happy place; welcome. Disneyland is your land. Here age relives fond memories of the past…and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams and the hard facts that have created America…with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world.