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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Tobacconists In Art

300 American Tobacconists M-Z (1980)
Dick Jewell
Copyright: Dick Jewell
Courtesy of the artist and Rachmaninoff’s, London
Dick Jewell is a British artist living and working in London. The images in this very unique piece came from a discarded filing cabinet drawer he found laying on the pavement in New York City during the late 1970s. Intrigued by the range of quality and type of images (from photo booth miniatures to studio photos), Mr. Jewell created this extraordinary piece which reflects Tobacconists’ ‘individuality and cohesion as a group of specialists’.
Well, many thanks to Mr. Jewell for recognizing our humble profession as one worthy of being represented in his art. While we know about Cigars & Art, it is refreshing to see Tobacconists in art. Let’s see if any American Tobacconists recognize themselves in these photos…
Ultimately, when these photos were found they were artifacts depicting a dying breed of professionals: perhaps, that is why they ended up as trash on the sidewalk. Regardless, we are now living in a new era. While hysterical anti-smoke sentiments and smokerism continues to hypnotize people around the world, the Tobacconist profession is resurging; as anybody wanting to savor their time knows the true value of luxury tobacco. Fighting back from the brink of extinction is no easy task, but I cannot imagine a group of passionate individuals more capable of meeting the challenges. As we move forward, we must remember and be thankful for all of the Tobacconists who came before us – thankful for their ‘individuality and cohesion as a group of specialists’

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