Mail Art, 1942 & ’43

Cecile Cowdery 1

Cecile Cowdery illustrated the envelopes of letters she sent to her husband Ray during WWII. He, and his envelopes, safely made it home from the war. The envelopes were found in an attic after Ray died in 1984. The art is collected in World War II Envelope Art of Cecile Cowdery (1992) by Robin Berg.

Cecile 1

Cecile 2

Mail Art, 1931

Mail Art 1931a

Whether you see illustrated envelopes from prison as a genre of prison art or a genre of mail art, there are scores of examples out there. These two were mailed from the Vandalia Correctional Institution for men in Vandalia, Illinois. The facility was opened in 1921 as the first prison farm in the state, housing misdemeanor offenders.

Mail Art 1931