1964 Venture Magazine, Volume 1, #1, Takes an Early Look at Young Authors & New Orleans Street Art

Sometimes a magazine is not a magazine, it’s also a book. And in this case, the #1 issue of Venture (a travel magazine first published in 1964) was bound in cloth, which made it a book.   Image

These days, sophisticated readers are not only attracted to rare antique and much-desired vintage volumes. We (and they) also are collecting old paperbacks (especially pulps) and even magazines, especially if they contain the works of not-yet-discovered authors & artists.Image

Case in point, Venture #1 which featured articles by John Knowles, then writing his second book of fiction (The Collector was his first, runaway hit & The Aristos, non-fiction,followed) and a young Tom Wolfe, who wrote about New York’s “Helping Hands“, and did not even merit a by-line here for his trouble. (To be fair, he was credited by name in the table of contents, but to young writers, by-lines & contributor attributions are every bit as important as the rolling credits at the front or back-end of a new movie).

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This Venture issue also contains an article by Craig Claiborne on New York Restaurants (he was an already well-known New York Times food critic, but not so much as an author of  cook books . (Hee wrote many after penning the classic New York Times Cookbook). Still, a Claiborne collector (and he has many passionate fans) might relish reading this early 1960s away-from-The Times –desk critique.

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One of my favorite articles in the magazine is a photo-essay on New Orleans’ old wall-painted signs, presaging the street art explosion to come that would rock the U.S. urban art core in the 1990s & beyond. Unlike the handiwork of now well-known, stratosphere-selling street artists like Banksy and Basquiat, these art works were largely advertisements – some with words & some without: art sign-language to advertise the merchandise sold inside.

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It’s 50-year-old magazines like Venture that can help you appreciate and understand the roots & routes now famed artists and authors took to find their calling – not always so deftly explained on sites like Amazon & Google.

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