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Picture Perfect

The transition from the “correspondence card” to the illustrated postcard occurred during the final quarter of the 19th century. Before long the illustrated card gave way to the picture postcard displaying photos of places or points of interest, a genre that enjoyed a boom around 1900 – and was even celebrated at an international exhibition in Nuremberg. During the world wars, picture postcards became a principal medium for military postal services and wartime propaganda. Even today, in the age of mass tourism, postcards tend to remain faithful to the principle of idealization, with sun, sea, and sand now being one typical motif, for example. With the advent of the smartphone, the postcard is becoming something of a rarity – still, when we send photos from vacation spots, we often go to great lengths to make them ‘picture perfect’.


Medal commemorating the first International Postcard Exhibition of 1899


Eduard Scherm (engraver)


» GNM Med10560