Monday, February 13, 2012

Ethnic Humor Valentines

I think these cards by the Gibson Art Co. are all well-intentioned, though I'm not sure all the Dutch humor cards were.  In some cases the humor was fueled by anti-German sentiments (during World War I) and in other cases immigrants who had been in the country longer resented more recent immigrants and their customs and fashions (wooden shoes.)  When that was the case the humor seems to be aimed at revealing the primitive intelligence and customs of the Dutch or other ethnic group. These cards, on the other hand, seem to focus on the charm of the foreign culture, even though they make fun of the language differences.


Though it may look like it, the cards are not water damaged. The red and green colors that you see are actually part of the paper.




The cards are all blank on the back and look like this.

11 comments:

  1. Marvelous set of postcards. And you're right, they do look water-damaged!

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  2. I love the design style. I especially like the lettering on the second card.

    I don't see the back.

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  3. These are fun...and kind of funny!
    Barbara

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  4. I think the last card wins the award for intentional language butchering, although the one above it is pretty good too with the 'except/accept' play. These two seem to approach the mean mockery threshold, rather than the gentle pokes of the others. I do think all the graphics are great though, really love that style too.

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  5. Thanks Postcardy. I had forgotten to post the back o the card, but it's there now.

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  6. Whatever the intention was (mean-spirited or not), I think they are lovely and quaint. Thank you for sharing them.

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  7. Yes, I see a lot of these Dutch themed postcards. It must have been very popular at one time. You have some lovely ones.

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  8. Amazing how these leedle people could come up with such verses!

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  9. Dutch ethnic humor seems to have disappeared today, but once it was a common cliche and a regular part of vaudeville and burlesque skits. Perhaps because of the mistaken connection to German traditions and language, the Dutch Americans chose to lose their stereotypes rather than having to endure wrongful harassment as Germans.

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  10. can we say "ethnic humor" today and still be PC?! thanks for pointing out the background design on the paper. i would have indeed mistaken it for water damage, but it's an interesting effect.

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  11. Actually there are more German than Dutch words visible on these cards. It's a bit strange to look down on Dutch immigrants since the Dutch, with their wooden shoes, were one of the first to colonize North-America. I love the pictures on the cards!

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