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the cards & this site are inspired by my enjoyment of postcards & art from the public domain:

for messages, i like the look & feel of a  postcard. they’re flat, offer the challenge of a confined writing space, and are something to hold in your hands. they’re good for quick notes & gift enclosures. i collect & share art this way, too.

i  make my own because i can’t find what i’m looking for in the stores (cards with meaningful images, small but with intense color & good artwork, & made of paper thick enough to survive the mail). and i like working with paper & color.

my creative impulse is good, but my own artwork not so much, that’s why i started exploring the public domain. it opened up a vast repository of art & history. i enjoy the process of discovering & drilling down for the story & accompanying images. browsing the internet for images has become a pastime and a passion. what i come up with is simple, but for me the process is dynamic ~ it’s fun & inspiring.

it’s a privilege & a somewhat tricky matter (though legal) to use someone else’s art to create your own, so i’ve included links pointing back to the source of each image or to information pages if the source was elusive.

inktopaperpress [venerablevintagepress] cards are altered images. i don’t try to reproduce exact copies of the originals (i can’t & don’t want to). if you’d like to see a closer rendition of what the artist might have intended, please follow the links inside the galleries, & in many cases keep looking beyond that ~ you’ll find unexpected pathways & treasures,  one discovery leading to another. it’s a good way to expose yourself to art history, or to any history ~  the stories expand in many directions.

i haven’t tried to give the full back story of the pieces, only to let you know that there is a fuller story ~ each image has its own history & context.

if you need help navigating the links, please ︎ me.

to learn more about your host:

public domain

text & altered images on this site, where appropriate, are copyrighted by ~ the source images themselves are in the public domain.

inktopaperpress postcards feature altered images of work originally created by, for the most part, artists working before or around the turn of the 20th century (the originals were usually created before 1924) ~ these images are now available to everyone through the public domain.

rules for use of public domain material can be complicated. the short version from stanford university libraries: “the term ‘public domain’ refers to creative materials that are not protected by intellectual property laws such as copyright, trademark, or patent laws. The public owns these works, not an individual author or artist. Anyone can use a public domain work without obtaining permission, but no one can ever own it.”

all images on represent modified versions of the original, some changes are more subtle than others. those that are largely recognizable when compared to the source are still in the public domain. if this sounds a bit vague, it’s because the rules of the public domain can sometimes be that way. your input is welcome ︎.

my preference: if you wish to create & sell cards, please follow the links to the source sites to download images there. but if you’re just sharing, feel free to download what you find here & share what you like. please reference both the source artist & this site ( or thanks!

according to their source institutions, the original pieces are in the public domain, but please confirm the work’s current status for yourself ~ corrections/input welcomed.

note: this site was built using a modified version of the “tropismes” template ~ thanks to the cargo collective  for their creative & flexible templates & for good support.

thanks to these sites for sharing: 

art history project-obelisk

rijksmuseum museum of the netherlands
tamiment lib/robt f. wagner labor archives, nyu’s liberator/the masses
falvey mem. library, villanova university
usda nursery of seed and trade catalogues
smithsonian american art museum
los angeles county museum of art
metropolitan museum of art
useum of fine arts boston
library of congress
new york public library
national gallery of art
the j. paul getty museum
art institute of chicago
europeana collections
barnes foundation
privacy stores your personal information only long enough to send out your cards in response to a request.

you may always ask for details of personal information which inktopaperpress holds about you under the data protection act 1998 ~ please use the contact form on this site to get in touch with inktopaperpress.

the information you send via the contact form will not be used by inktopaperpress for any other purpose than to answer questions and to deliver your cards ~ inktopaperpress will not knowingly share any information with third parties.

inktopaperpress may track general viewing trends, not origins of personal hits.

inktopaperpress may change this policy from time to time by updating this page ~  you should check here to ensure that you agree with any changes.

concerning collection and retention of your information,, the hosting service for this website, and paypal (if you make use of the inktopaperpress shop) have their own privacy policies.’s policy can be found here.

paypal’s policy is here.

more information about new consumer privacy rights can be found here.

some emails that inktopaperpress sends you may contain links to other websites of interest ~ you should note that inktopaperpress does not have any control over that other website ~ therefore, inktopaperpress cannot be responsible for the protection and privacy of any information which you provide while visiting such sites and such sites are not governed by this privacy statement ~ you should exercise caution and look at the privacy statement applicable to the website in question.