Archive: Ben Marks

benmarks23 at gmail dot com


Halleujah The Pill, 1967, Mari Tepper

Mari Tepper: Laying it on the Line



Val Hammond's inventory of Sherman costume jewelry before it was sold to Gus Sherman's grandkids.

Nice Ice: Valerie Hammond on the Genteel Charm of Vintage Canadian Costume Jewelry



Modernist Man: Jock Peters May Be the Most Influential Architect You’ve Never Heard Of



Meet Cute: Were Kokeshi Dolls the Models for Hello Kitty, Pokemon, and Be@rbrick?



When the King of Comedy Posters Set His Surreal Sights on the World of Rock ‘n’ Roll



How One Artist Makes New Art From Old Coloring Books and Found Photos



Say Cheese! How Bad Photography Has Changed Our Definition of Good Pictures



Middle Earthenware: One Family’s Quest to Reclaim Its Place in British Pottery History



Fancy Fowl: How an Evil Sea Captain and a Beloved Queen Made the World Crave KFC



Heavenly Metal: How Trench Art Keeps the Memories of Soldiers and Their Service Alive



Eric Clapton, wearing a crocheted jacket by Birgitta Bjerke, performs with John Lennon during the Rolling Stones' Rock and Roll Circus, December 11, 1968.

Meet the Swedish Artist Who Hooked British Rock Royalty on Her Revolutionary Crochet



Down the Rabbit Hole: How One Collector Discovered a World of Cast-Iron Doorstops



Selling New Zealand: The Railroad Posters That Made a Nation Want To See Their World



Almost Famous: The Untold Story of an Artist’s Rock-Poster Roots



Sad Iron Man: A Maine Geologist Wants You To Know How We Used to Press Our Clothes



When Jagger and Jimi, Pink Floyd and The Cream, Rocked the Rafters at Ricky-Tick



What’s It Worth? Just Ask Jeff Foxworthy



Falling in Love Again with the Haunting Sounds of Interwar Polish Tango



Guac ‘n’ Roll: How a Recycled College Menu Design Became a Classic Led Zeppelin Poster



From Death Cab to the Grateful Dead, an Artist Reimagines the Classic Rock Poster



Pointed Pins: How Pundit Jill Wine-Banks Sends Political Messages with Her Brooches



Let There Be Light: One Artist’s Mission to Resurrect Old World Stained Glass



Wanna-Beats: In 1959, Café Bizarre Gave Straights an Entree Into Beatnik Culture



How My Kid Lost a Game of ‘Magic’ to Its Creator But Scored a Piece of Its Original Art



Wind Power: How the 19th-Century’s Greatest Shipbuilder Opened the Pacific



Stirred Not Shaken: How Do You End Up With 50,000 Swizzle Sticks?



How Gorham Wed New Technologies With Classic Craftsmanship to Gild the Gilded Age



How a Small-Town Navy Vet Created Rock’s Most Iconic Surrealist Posters



Battle of the Ax Men: Who Really Built the First Electric Rock ‘n’ Roll Guitar?



Giving Thanks: Jefferson Airplane Guitarist Sheds the Rock-Star Mask to Tell His Truth



In Disney’s Golden Age, a Modernist Pioneer Designed the Perfect Animator’s Desk



Was Robin Williams’ Art Collection a Window on His Troubled Mind?



The Art of “Star Wars”: The Force Behind the Most Iconic Image in the Cinematic Universe



Paint Pedaler: How a 1980s Michelangelo Found Fame on the Ceilings of Old Victorians



Hoarders, Hauntings, and Two-Headed Cows: Dealing Dead People’s Things



The Great Wallpaper Rebellion: Defending Flamboyance in a World of White Walls



Joking Aside, Rube Goldberg Got Tech Right



Is This Treasure Trove of Movie Ads From the Heyday of Newspapers Worth $20 Million?



A Garage Sale Find of Rare Beatles Photos Took a Collector on a Magical Mystery Tour



When Whimsical Anti-Theft Tea Caddies Protected the World’s Most Precious Leaf



Collectors Weekly Proudly Joins Barnebys



Chanukah Americana: One Family’s Search for the Perfect Menorah



From Folk to Acid Rock, How Marty Balin Launched the San Francisco Music Scene



Stranger Than Friction: When Matches Were Dangerous, Vestas Kept Us Safe



Hippies, Guns, and LSD: The San Francisco Rock Band That Was Too Wild For the Sixties



To Hell With Helvetica: Is an 1874 Type Catalog the World’s Most Beautiful Book?



What Makes Cartoonist Roz Chast Laugh?



The Gay Old Days: If You Really Want To See San Francisco’s Future, Go Back to 1957




Hollywood’s Leading Motorhead: For Steve McQueen, Racing Motorcycles Was No Act




All the President’s Yachts: The Rise, Fall, and Resurrection of FDR’s Floating White House




Victorian Era Drones: How Model Trains Transformed From Cutting-Edge to Quaint



Memorandum-Clock edited

That Old-Time Hucksterism: The Oddest Doohickeys of Industrial-Age Entrepreneurs



Whiskey label, Ringside Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey, Quali

Driven to Drink: How 1930s Booze Labels Helped Americans Forget Their Troubles




Behind the Scenes With Janis Joplin and Big Brother, Rehearsing for the Summer of Love




When the World Truly Stank, Tussie-Mussies Were a Breath of Fresh Air



The Banjo Player 1856

Strummin’ on the Old Banjo: How an African Instrument Got a Racist Reinvention




Music of the Presses: How an L.A. Printer Kept the Art of the Album Cover Alive




400 Years of Equator Hazings: Surviving the Stinky Wrath of King Neptune’s Court




Singapore’s Beloved and Creepy Wonderland, Built on the Healing Powers of Tiger Balm




Lightman Fantastic: This Artist Drenched ’60s Music Lovers in a Psychedelic Dream




All-Night French Fries with T-Rex: Seattle’s Trippiest Rock-Poster Artist Tells All



Maori Chief

Māori Modernism: The New Zealand Artist Who Put the Islands’ Native People First



SF Color1979

If You’re Too Young to Remember the Magic of Tower Records, Here’s What You Missed



Ewart 1

Go Canada! When Gorgeous Graphic Design Lured the World to the Great White North




The Mystery of the Phantom Page Turner




Victorian Secret: Sitting in a Lobster Bustle Skirt Is Easier Than It Looks




How a ’60s Power Couple Taught Architects and Dancers To Find Their Inner Hippie




Before Braille Was King, It Had to Win the War of the Dots




Formula for Beauty: The Geo-Chemistry Behind Rookwood Pottery




How Linen Postcards Transformed the Depression Era Into a Hyperreal Dreamland



Japan Nouveau 17

Zen Nouveau: New Year’s Greetings from Early 20th-Century Japan




Where the Wild Books Are




The Forgotten Kingpins Who Conspired to Save California Wine




Did the CIA’s Experiments With Psychedelic Drugs Unwittingly Create the Grateful Dead?



Letter Bomb 1

You’ve Got Mail Bombs: Tracking Down the Most Dangerous Letters in the World




Rise of the Synthesizer: How an Electronics Whiz Kid Gave the 1980s Its Signature Sound




Sixties Nostalgia Burnout: I’m So Sick of Talkin’ ‘Bout My G-G-Generation




Someday, Robots May Save or Destroy Us All—For Now, They’re Still Kinda Dumb




Unboxing Modernism: How the Russian Revolution Spurred Mid-Century Design




Could an Old-School Tube Amp Make the Music You Love Sound Better?




Life on Pluto, Circa 1959




Funny Money: When Mangled Coins and Defaced Currency Become Works of Art



Pair Women

Campy Couture: Barbie’s ’70s Rivals Flaunted the Fashions We’d Love to Forget




Would You Put a $300,000 Glass Sculpture on the Hood of Your Car?




From Donation Bin to Sotheby’s: How a Rare 19th-Century Bible Almost Got Away




The Existential Conundrum That Is the American Waste Paper Basket




At the First Rock Festival, Pianos Fell From the Sky




The Dead Files: Rock Art, Artifacts, and Psychedelic Office Supplies Up for Grabs




Quest for the Pez Holy Grail: International Smuggling Meets Father-Son Bonding




New Evidence of Ancient Child-Trafficking Network Unearthed in Maya Sacrifice Cave



George Schairer

Capturing a Generation of Aviation Geniuses and Their Incredible Flying Machines




Cheap Thrills: The Freakish Fantasy Art of Mexican Pulp Paperbacks




When Ice Was Hot: A Skater Shares His Lifelong Love for Ice Show Razzle-Dazzle



Stash 2

Flipping Out Over Handheld Movies




Fraternizing With the Enemy: The Christmas Truce of 1914




The Husband-Wife Team Who Made Everyone Want to Chew Gum



Rooster with Star

Fun With Guns: The Art of the Arcade Target




Skateboard Art Helps Kids in Small Texas Town Find Their Inner Weird




Factory-Fresh 1955 Chevy Nomad Emerges From 40-Year Hibernation




Was Levon Mosgofian of Tea Lautrec Litho the Most Psychedelic Printer in Rock?




The Hippie Daredevils Who Were Just Crazy Enough to Invent Mountain Biking



asbury bright

When Postcards Made Every Town Seem Glamorous, From Asbury Park to Zanesville




These People Love to Collect Radioactive Glass. Are They Nuts?



104 Baskets Forms

How Railroad Tourism Created the Craze for Traditional Native American Baskets



Easy Chair

Rainy Day Psychedelia: Seattle’s 1960s Poster Scene About to Get Its Day in the Sun




The Otherworldly Sounds of the Clavioline, From Musical Saw to Wailing Cat



Grand Canyon

In Living Color: The Forgotten 19th-Century Photo Technology that Romanticized America



Stuck on Colorforms, the Two-Dimensional Toy Beloved By Mid-Century Modern Kids




Irma Harding, the Woman Who Taught Rural Moms to Kick Canning and Start Freezing



Cartoon Kittens and Big-Eyed Puppies: How We Bought Into Processed Pet Food




Skeletons in Our Closets: Will the Private Market for Dinosaur Bones Destroy Us All?




Google Glassholes: High-Tech Visionaries or Fashion Victims?



Rupp On Tap

Beer Money and Babe Ruth: Why the Yankees Triumphed During Prohibition



Amy Monarch 1

The Government-Surplus Machines That Power a Cutting-Edge Science Museum



Standing on Mountains

Mysterious Railway Posters Depict the Dreamy Allure of Deco-Era Japan




Awkward! 28 Cringe-Worthy Vintage Product Endorsements




Good, Clean Fun: This Rock Star Parties Hard (with Hot Wheels and Wacky Packs)




Pulling Out All the Stops to Save a 40-Ton, 100-Year-Old World’s Fair Pipe Organ



Storybook Apocalypse: Beasts, Comets, and Other Signs of the End Times



The Beatles 1964 American Tour Las Vegas

Being The Beatles: Untold Stories from the Fab Four’s Legendary North American Tours




What’s Behind the Widespread Obsession With Rock-Concert Screenprints




Rise of the Machines: Tractors and the End of Rural America



Women and Children: The Secret Weapons of World War I Propaganda Posters



Treats or Tricks? Unfortunate Vintage Candy Wrappers



The Dawn of DIY: When it Was Hip to Stitch



Extraordinary Collection of Counterculture Literature Up for Auction



Will an Inverted Jenny Turn the Stamp World Upside Down Again?



My Goodness! Guinness Collectors Snap Up Secret Stash of Unpublished Advertising Art



Dr. Blankenstein, the Mad Scientist of Analog Synthesizers and Atari Punks



How a Gang of Harmonica Geeks Saved the Soul of the Blues Harp



Copper Chronicles: How a Shipyard Worker Hammered Artillery Shells into Art



Trailing Angela Davis, from FBI Flyers to ‘Radical Chic’ Art



Our Dad, the Water Witch of Wyoming



The Unfiltered History of Rolling Papers, Plus Tommy Chong’s Big Fat Jamaican Vacation



Gloriously Grotesque 19th-Century Pipes



Say Ahhh: An Oral Surgeon’s Quest to Reimagine the Garage-Band Guitar



Blood, Sweat, and Steel: My Afternoon with the Ace of Swords



Lucas-Tesla Project to Give Drivers a Charge While They Watch a Movie



The Mao Mango Cult of 1968 and the Rise of China’s Working Class



Welcome to the Retro-Futuristic World of Laurent Durieux



Classic New Year’s Eve Rock Posters



John Lennon’s Oddly Patronizing Letter to Eric Clapton Up For Auction



Priceless Tiffany Collection Flees One Earthquake Zone, Lands in Another



Unraveling the Ancient Riddles of Chinese Jewelry



The High Price of a Degree in LSD



The Cold, Hard Truth About Popsicles



A Quiet Voice in the Noisy World of Rock



Dawn of the Flick: The Doctors, Physicists, and Mathematicians Who Made the Movies



Real Hollywood Thriller: Who Stole Jaws?



Could There Be a Treasure in Your Toilet?



The VW Bug’s Rare and Quirky Czech Mate



The Sources of Psychedelic Art? Drugs, But Also Picasso and the Fire-Bombing of Tokyo



Blueprint for the Occupy Movement? Read the Protest Manifestos of the 1960s



Who Killed American Kitsch?



Does Facebook Have a Secret Paper Fetish?



Rockin’ at the Rollarena, Pre-Summer of Love



During the Civil War, Some People Got Rich Quick By Minting Their Own Money



Before Sesame Street and Electric Mayhem, a Crude Kermit Lip Synced Pop Standards



If ‘Pan Am’ Takes a Nosedive, It Won’t Be For a Lack of Authentic, Vintage Props



Scopitone: ’60s Music Videos You’ve Never Seen



Psychedelic Poster Pioneer Wes Wilson on The Beatles, Doors, and Bill Graham



Barbed Wire, From Cowboy Scourge to Prized Relic of the Old West



Lucite in the Sky with Diamonds



Modern Metallics: Monet Costume Jewelry



Found Photos: When Rock Lost Its Innocence



1951 Maserati GP, Low Miles, Needs Paint



Why Would Anyone Collect Nazi?



Mondo: The Monster of Modern Movie Posters


This 1959 Goggomobil Is Insanely Cute and Gets 55 MPG. Why Can’t Detroit Do That?



The Woman Behind Bettie Page



Kem Weber: The Mid-Century Modern Designer Who Paved the Way for IKEA



The Day Johnny Cash Flipped Off Jim Marshall



The Folklore and Fashion of Japanese Netsuke



Devils, Doves, and World War I: The Rock-n-Roll Posters of Gary Houston



American Picker Dream, Part II: Mike Wolfe On Enduros and Land Rockets



American Picker Dream, Part I: Mike Wolfe On His Love Affair With Bikes



A Life of Cards, From Bridge to Magic



The Storybook-Psychedelic Rock Posters of Marq Spusta



How My Pal Pete Got On Antiques Roadshow


One comment so far

  1. Jeffrey Rose Says:

    In the article about Ben Marks, the sentence “Sam’s older friends took pains to explain these trades to my wife, Pat, and I, lest we accuse them of taking advantage of our son” should be “my wife, Pat, and me, lest…”

Leave a Comment or Ask a Question

If you want to identify an item, try posting it in our Show & Tell gallery.