Friday, 13 August 2010

Inspirational Artists - Part 3 - M.Sasek

Back in 2007 after I had ran the San Francisco marathon, we stayed on for a (well deserved!) holiday. I really loved SF and we went all over and saw all the sights, including Alcatraz. After our tour of Alcatraz, we were browsing in thier extensive bookshop, and we came across a beautifully illustrated book called 'This is San Francisco' by M.Sasek (Published 1962):
I was drawn in straight away by the fabulous retro illustrated cover.
And then page by page, were all the sights we had visited in SF.
This is my favorite page in the book, Lombard Street. Look at the 50s cars coming down the hill!
China town - this scene is right near where our hotel was
The hills of SF! And yes, they really are like this!
The Golden Gate Bridge, that we ran over at the start of the marathon.
And the drive in movie theatre - again LOVE the cars!
We bought the book straight away. I love it so much as not only is it a memento of our trip, but its the fact that it is filled with these mid century illustrations that just make it all that more special to me.
M. Sasek was a Czech author and Illustrator. His full name was Miroslav Sasek, but he always signed his work M. Sasek. He spent most of his life travelling to different cities, drawing and painting what he saw and writing these 'This is' books for children. The other cities he wrote about are:

Even though many of these books were written/illustrated in the late 50s and 60s, they are still so relevent today and make a lovely memento of your trip :)


  1. Definitively Lombard street is the best.
    Thanks for sharing.

    i didn't know if you paid attention of one of my comments in may's post. But i've meet you in spain last screamin fest.

  2. What a wonderful find!! The only thing I love more than books, is OLD books, and I can understand why it is an inspiration on several levels <3

  3. BIG MAMMA - ha ha! That is so funny! What a small world. You know, I love those bangles and I wear them all the time! You had some lovely things :)

  4. That book looks great! Did you get it at City Lights bookstore? I am going to have to find me a copy.

  5. Kim - I bought it at the Alcatraz bookshop. I'm sure they will have them in the main book stores too. Soooo jealous this is where you live! :)

  6. That brings back some good memories, especially when Michael tried to pay for the book at the stand where the author of anotehr book was doing his signing, hee hee. I bought the NY version of this book because I was so jealous of your san fran copy

  7. What a neat book! I love the bright colors and drawing style! Maybe you can make copies in color and make prints for your house. My in-law's gave me a book of 50s beauty and fashion ads for christmas. It is a small, 5x7 size. I cut out a few pages and put the prints in frames and then hung them up throughout the house. There were even old makeup, hair, and toilet paper ads that I framed and they are on the walls in the guest bath.