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Introducing the Lou Greenstein Collection

Lou Greenstein Lou Greenstein’s passion for collecting menus goes back to his childhood in Massachusetts when his dad took the family to dinner in a different restaurant every Sunday. “We weren’t a rich family by any means but it was our weekly treat and sometimes my Dad would drive us for an hour or more to go to a particular place,” he remembers. Fast forward more than 50 years and Lou now has one of the best vintage menu collections in America, numbering 10,000 items. He started with menus saved on those family outings and has added to his collection by trawling for treasures in yard sales, flea markets, old bookshops, auctions and ephemera shows.    “It became a hobby,...

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The Herbert Beazley Vintage Maritime Menu Collection

Herbert & Norma Beazley This collection of cruise ship menu prints is courtesy of the Estate of Herbert Beazley, a lawyer and an avid collector of maritime memorabilia. Born in 1932, Herbert would accompany his father to the docks in his home town of Houston, Texas, to watch cargo ships loading and unloading their goods. In 1948, when Herbert was a teenager, he persuaded his parents to allow him to take a trip on one of those cargo ships to Cuba. “There was a strike at the port and he had to stay in Havana much longer than planned, but he wandered around the city quite happily on his own,” his wife Norma says.” It was an amazing adventure and...

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Introducing The Henry Voigt Collection

Carefully curated artwork from one of the most important vintage menu collections in America.  Available for the first time as archival prints Henry Voigt began collecting vintage menus and other dining ephemera two decades ago and has amassed, according to Gastronomica magazine, “one of the most significant private collections” in the USA. He is probably the country’s foremost authority on The American Menu. For the first time, he is making part of his amazing collection available as archival prints and other items as part of Cool Culinaria’s mission to put vintage menu artwork before a new audience. Giclee prints of wonderful works such as a ‘Private Dinner’ Louis Sherry 1884, Pennsylvania Hotel ‘Fountain Room’ New York 1922 and Biff’s Los...

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A 1950s Latin Quarter Menu and "Swiped" Art

This 1950s menu, featuring a scantily-clad waitress who sends her tray flying, was used in the legendary New York nightclub The Latin Quarter. According to a credit on the cover, the illustration was by Vani Cola but try as we might, Cool Culinaria could not find any information about this artist. Then, after our company was featured in The New York Times in October, we received this email from John Raglin, a professor at Indiana University. It read: “I was intrigued by the klutzy French maid because she was originally painted by an artist I am writing a book about. His name was Enoch Bolles and the image first appeared on the cover of Film Fun magazine that was published...

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Welcoming Harley Spiller's Vintage Chinese Menu Collection To Cool Culinaria

Harley Spiller Photo: Vincent Laforet/The New York Times He says he’s just a guy who collects stuff but Harley Spiller is being modest. He has a legendary collection of Chinese menus and, for the first time, is making many of them available to Cool Culinaria’s online gallery. Dating from 1910, these menus have striking graphics, colorful imagery and provide a fascinating record of how Chinese food became a staple of American cuisine. With vastly differing styles reflecting diverse eras, they have been given a modern twist and are reproduced on giclee prints, stretched canvases, mugs and greetings cards. An acknowledged authority on Chinese food, Harley has been collecting Chinese menus for more than 30 years and now has an estimated...

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