Mainzer Cats

I think many of us have at some point seen an image sampled from a vintage Alfred Mainzer Cat postcard (Mainzer was the publisher; the images were painted by Swiss artist Eugen Hurtung).

Recognize the style? Oddly anthropomorphic felines placed in distinctly human situations…

Often, chaos arises.

Ah…they’re incorrigible (I am currently watching a cat in her sixth consecutive hour of napping and increasingly doubting feline willingness to pick up a drill and engage in construction work).

I may send this as my next “get well” greeting:

Some are appropriate for party invitations:

Just wanted to pay tribute to this seminal slice of kitsch history. I captured my images from Card Cow but there is a more official collector site here. Does anyone have originals?

8 Responses to “Mainzer Cats”

  1. Hahah! Yes, love these! I stumbled across them about a month ago for the first time, googling something like ‘old timey cats’ (I’m obsessed, I know) – brilliant!

  2. phairhead Says:

    I love these!

  3. Truly eerie! And how weird is it that many of the cats have pet poodles? And that the poodles are smaller than the cats?

    • shewalkssoftly Says:

      Yes! All of these illustrations feature cats in very un-catlike situations. It’s part of the charm.

  4. My mom collected these postcards as a child. She kept them in an old bread bag. I have many fond memories of sitting for hours mesmerized by the images.
    When i was a teen, I saw the bag sitting in the trash! I asked my mom why, she replied that she just didn’t want them anymore. I, of course, scoop them up quickly and put them in a sleeve style photo album.
    I never realized, until recently, how many there are that I don’t have, I have around 50 in my collection, which includes mice and dogs. I absolutely love them!

  5. claudia Says:

    hi, i actually have 5 pieces of original artwork by eugen hartung for the postcards. one of them is the iconic family being photographed. they are so charming!!!

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