Friday, August 13, 2010

Smokin' hot vintage score

Yesterday I found a huge plastic bag of vintage matchbooks at one of my haunts in downtown Riverside. Displaying an eclectic love of both graphics and locations, it’s clear the former collector was a real cool cat or kitty….hanging at The Stardust and Flamingo in Vegas, the Luau in Beverly Hills, Chasens in West Hollywood, and the Egg and the Eye Restaurant on Wilshire in Los Angeles.

The interesting graphic on the Egg and the Eye matchbook cover (bottom left) made me want to know more. I googled and was fascinated to read this:
"The legendary Edith Wyle cultivated her love of folk art in the '60s, after growing disenchanted with abstract expressionism and minimalism—the art trends of her day. Edith’s search for a more meaningful art form transformed her into a “chronic enthusiast” of indigenous art, an art form that couples tradition with function. She yearned to support diverse and socially relevant art.

In 1965, Edith channeled that yearning into The Egg and The Eye, an innovative café and shop on Wilshire Boulevard in the Miracle Mile district of Los Angeles, which soon became the preferred hangout for artists, travelers and dreamers. Edith’s belief that a celebration of culture should include both food and art inspired the clever café name. The Egg and The Eye served over 50 exotic omelettes inspired by international cuisine and offered guests a dazzling array of international folk art to enjoy.

In 1973, The Egg and The Eye became the nonprofit Craft and Folk Art Museum, which displayed a wealth of folk art and an eclectic offering of contemporary craft. Determined to make it a “living museum,” Edith initiated workshops and educational programs involving community members whose arts were on display."

And to add to the story, The Craft and Folk Art Museum bought several of my pieces in the late 90s when I was making these cigar box handbags.


I've always wanted one of those big glass bowls full of vintage matchbooks and now I have one. I'm sure that's why these showed up yesterday. :)



  1. Love these vintage matchbooks. Funny thing about the images & memories that matchbooks can conjure up for us. I recently picked up a few matchbooks from a very favorite restaurant of mine which was closing it's doors. A little momento or recuerdo. That is what each one represents to me. Love these colorful photos~

  2. that is one MAGICAL score Lori! I LOOOOVE the write up posted about the egg and the! it makes me want to run a gallery/cafe even more!!! XO

  3. such a great find lori, so you, and so meant to be!
    i love the craft & folk museum..what an amazing history, and not surprised at all really because it's such a vibrant and integral part of los angeles.
    thanks for sharing!

  4. I always pick them up, too! I have a little printer's box hung on the wall where I put them. Finding this big bag full was such a thrill for me. I am continued to be amazed at how little things like matchbooks inspired such cool graphics and colors.

  5. Wasn't that cool? And to think that each matchbook has its own story. That was just one!! I didn't know you were interested in running a gallery/cafe! That would be really great.

  6. I know! I was so excited to read the history. Makes me want to google all the others...who knows what stories are hidden there?

  7. Such serendipity finding this collection! Glad you enjoyed and thanks for stopping by, Jennifer. :)


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