I had this epiphany that may or may not be news to any of the rest of you, but I feel the need to share it just in case.
As a late comer to this party - I arrived in early 2010 - I spent a few months reading the entire thread. Looking back through the archived posts on this forum I was, of course, immediately struck by the quantity and quality of cutaway art displayed. Then a slightly more subtle item also appeared on my radar screen. That is the in depth discussions of material, techniques, style and personal insights by the artists themselves concerning the very art pieces we all enjoy. This is the history of not only individual pieces of art but of the art form itself.
This forum may very well represent the main repository of the history concerning the hand production of cutaway art during the golden age of the art form. When we’re immersed in the discussion, this point is easy to miss. There are a few books of cutaway art work published but they are either 'art books' that display the finished product or concern themselves solely with the subject matter of the art – a particular car or airplane for example. None that I own or have seen concern themselves with the how, why and technique of production of the finished work, let alone the artists. This forum has lead to documentation about cutaway art and artists that may be on a level greater than exists anywhere else, save the minds of the artists themselves.
That was a wow moment for me and I wanted to share it and say thank you to all concerned. That would include the myriad artists as well as the devoted collectors and historians here present. Special thanks to Tony Matthews as his early (and continued) involvement has supplied the glue that held the fledgling group together as it grew its own stout wings. Of course thanks also to Anders Bonde for planting the seed in the first place.
Something else has shown up for me from reviewing all the posts. There is an undercurrent of concern about copyright issues that surfaces again and again in the posts. Much of it revolves around the moderator’s tolerance of previously published work being posted in the thread. What if our tolerant hosts have a change of heart and shut down and delete this thread? The loss of this historical documentation would be personally devastating to me. It would also be a great disservice to the artists and a serious loss to humanity in general. Perhaps likening it to the destruction of the library at Alexandria may seem a bit overblown to some, but not to me as the net effect would be the same.
By the way, ‘thank you’ does not seem to be enough to say to our friend Ibsen for the meticulous work he does indexing the art content of the thread on all of our behalf. However, if this thread were gone then the index becomes but a list chronicling our collective loss. In the future we may read the index and say nostalgically, ‘Yes I saw that art once, but now it’s gone’.
My personal automotive passion is the era of American sports and race cars following WWII that were produced by individuals or small groups working in their garages and little shops. I only mention this to illustrate a point. In the past few years I have seen many web sites concerning these cars disappear as the owners died or could no longer afford to subsidize the cost of maintaining the sites. I was even the web master of one of those now defunct sites. The net result is the disappearance of wide swaths of historical data from the public domain. That could happen here.
So here is a question for the group in general. Is anyone archiving this thread for posterity? Is it even possible to do so? I am sure individual posts can be copied, but what about multiple pages of this priceless information? I am interested in pursuing the mechanics of how to accomplish this.
Okay, I have carried on long enough. Thanks for your perseverance if you have read this far through this long post. Anyone care to discuss ideas on how to preserve this priceless history? Offline discussion is fine with me as I don’t want to detract from the main purpose of this forum.
Edit - To correct spelling of Anders. Many pardons...
Edited by JoeKane, 08 January 2011 - 03:08.