Posts Tagged ‘SOWA Vintage Market’

SoWa Vintage MarketMeandering through the vintage market usually stirs my artistic imagination. Today is no exception! There are so many patterns, colors and motifs to take in. These sunny scenes are from this Sunday morning at the SoWa Vintage Market in Boston’s South End neighborhood.

SoWa Vintage Market SoWa Vintage Market

It was also a treat to see the sunlight filtering in on this day after some pretty goopy, gloomy weather.

If you’re not familiar with the SoWa Vintage Market, it’s open every Sunday, 10 am-4 pm, year-round in the South End. Here’s more info.

SoWa Vintage Market


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DSC02278Another season of SoWa Sundays begins! Sunday, May 5 marks the first day of this neighborhood staple that runs 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. through mid-fall. There is an outdoor artisans’ market, an outdoor farmers’ market, an indoor vintage market and delicious food truck meals in an open air shelter in the parking lot on Harrison Avenue between Gaslight restaurant and Randolph Street.

Some artists at the 450 Harrison Avenue studios will even open their doors to the public on Sundays. There’s a sandwich board sign just inside the building’s Thayer Street entrance that will tell you which artists are in that day.

Here’s a handy map of the South End’s SoWa (South of Washington Street) District.

A very cool event happening Sunday, May 19th is the SoWa Plant Swap. If you’ve got too much of something growing in your garden, you can take some of it there and trade it for something else. What a neighborly idea!


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Cover of LIFE Magazine, September 5, 1969

Cover of LIFE Magazine, September 5, 1969 with story titled “Peter Max: Portait of the artist as a very rich man”

The SOWA Vintage Market has a little something for everyone. Open every Sunday in Boston’s South End neighborhood, it has three long rooms housing a variety of vintage ware dealers. Some dealers are there regularly, while others rotate in and out. The fun, energetic music adds to the charm of discovering clothes ranging from glitzy 50’s-era cocktail dresses and sparkly baubles to clear acrylic platform shoes, feathered hats and Jackie-O style jackets with big buttons and 3/4-length sleeves. Non-wearables might be anything from record albums and old paintings to repainted furniture, ceramic ramekins, lamps, signs, curious storage containers and carry-alls, and giant metal mixing paddles for commercial mixers. This past weekend, one of my companions picked up a pair of square-toed black velvet Ferragamo pumps in great condition for $22.

This winter I found a copy of LIFE Magazine there from September 5, 1969. I bought it for $15. What attracted me to this particular issue was the image on the cover of the head of a then young Peter Max floating upon a pastel pink, blue, lavender and yellow sea of his own artwork. The artwork is made to look as though it is being peeled away like an onion skin to reveal rows of dollar signs behind it. And the headline — Peter Max: Portrait of the artist as a very rich man.

"The Mark of Max is Everywhere" from LIFE Magazine, September 5, 1969

“The Mark of Max is Everywhere” from LIFE Magazine, September 5, 1969

In 2010, I wrote a blog piece called Circling Back to Peter Max in Another Galaxy, reminiscing about his artistic influence on me and about meeting him at an art reception in Providence, RI. Naturally, I was interested in this LIFE Magazine issue, published when I was 11 years old and just becoming aware of Max’s art. I knew he’d gained fame and wealth at a young age, so I wasn’t surprised that this article described him as a tycoon at 29, owning five companies and licensing his designs to 50 other companies.

Images of Peter Max at work and at play from LIFE Magazine, September 5, 1969 issue

Images of Peter Max at work and at play from LIFE Magazine, September 5, 1969 issue

Its author, whose name is not given, describes Max’s art at the time as “a savory rehash of art nouveau, pop and op. It’s every bit as exotic and eclectic as his three-continent background: he was born in Berlin and brought up in Shanghai, Israel, Paris and Brooklyn.”

One of several two-page spreads in the article is captioned “Self-portrait of the artist voyaging through a kaleidoscopic cosmos.” It features a poster which, “created especially for LIFE, is a pictorial autobiography of the artist. Entitled Portrait of the Artist at the Dawn of the Golden Age, it chronicles Max’s terrestrial and spiritual journey through life.”

"Portrait of the Artist at the Dawn of the Golden Age" from LIFE Magazine, September 5, 1969

“Portrait of the Artist at the Dawn of the Golden Age” from LIFE Magazine, September 5, 1969

It’s a weird little slice of 20th-century American history in the Art section of this old magazine, beside a story about Japanese GI babies coming of age, and another about Richard Nixon’s five-acre retreat at San Clemente, complete with photos of top aides H.R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman bare-chested and preparing their sailboat for a cruise off the California coast. There are ads for Del Monte canned creamy-style corn, for Sony’s Digimatic Forget-You-Not clock radio in Deluxe Hardwood sporting a handy speaker that hides under your pillow, and for Viceroy and Marlboro cigarettes. The magazine’s cover price: 40 cents.

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