Welcome to the Second "Simbari Diaries" Newsletter

Letter 02
July 2010


Dear Friends

As I started writing this letter to you, I received an e-mail from someone in Florida, which brought (me) a fresh view of Nicola !

I believe he is one of the “Greats” of the past 50 years and will be recognized, as such, for generations to come . . . but I sometimes lose “Faith” . . . Nicola’s charm and simplicity, as a person, are reflected in his Works . . . nothing was too “humble” or “banal” . . . Life was so FULL of humour and the ‘unexpected’ ! and yet,  he was a consummate Professional.

Simbari - "Royal Guards on Parade" I am always surprised that no one seems to be aware of Nicola’s early ‘career’ as a Graphic “wizard” ! - - -

“Royal Guards on Parade” London, 1957

Simbari - "Gennarino" - cover “Gennarino” - a very successful Children’s Book published by J.B.Lippincott in 1962

“Dear Friends and Darling Romans” novel by Mary Chamberlin (J.B.Lippincott 1959)

Simbari - “Dear Friends and Darling Romans” - cover

- - - he explained to me that there is NO “division” between Art and Graphic Art,
(only ‘good’ and/or ‘bad’ examples) they are one and the same ‘talent’

. . . in recent years, a form of “snobbism” has crept in, and ONE (form) seems to be LESS than the other - - - 

Simbari - "Horses Mouth" Film Poster so Nicola’s fantastic sketches and posters of wonderful films such as
“The Horses Mouth” and
“Too Many Crooks”

(to mention only two!)
Simbari - "Too Many Crooks" Film Poster

 . . . or his Mural for the Italian State Railways at the Brussels World Exhibition, in 1958 - - -  and illustrations for books and magazine stories, were to be “kept in the dark”     
              - - - no one must ever know!

As a very young man Nicola helped to feed, and house, his Mother, Father, and younger brothers and sisters, with the money earned from his “commercial” works . . .

Simbari - Tarantella Napolitana - - - I have seen some ‘his’ posters go up for auction and ‘receive’ amazing prices !! Sadly, I have no examples of these spectacular images in my collection of photographs of this period

(perhaps you know of some?! - I would love to hear from you)

An introduction to SIMBARI the Graphic ‘whiz’ . . !

*** the front cover of the program for the successful Italian Musical Show “Tarantella Napolitana” of the ‘50s

- - - his many years of working with Graphics started in the early 50’s . . . often working with Government Agencies . . . Industry, Agriculture and Tourism . . . and also making Posters for the busy and exciting Film business, famous in Rome, at that time - - -

I remember seeing his fabulous posters of the films “The Horse’s Mouth” and “Too many Crooks” all over London (I was so proud of Nicola!)  . . .

I loved the superb ‘map of Italy’, showing the Wines of the different regions, with great humour . . .

Imagine my amazement when , many years later I came across a collage of this poster used as their menu cover, in a fashionable restaurant in Palm Beach, Florida . . . .!

*** Detail from the menu cover of “Amici” a popular Italian restaurant in Palm Beach. Florida
 Simbari - “Amici”

During my travels, sadly, many of Nicola’s early works have been lost or misplaced . . . perhaps you have an early portrait-drawing of his, done when he was in his teens, for G.I.s stationed in, or near, Rome!!

Simbari - Detail from Gennarino Have a wonderful Summer Holiday . . .   I wonder if any of you will be going to Capri, Ischia or Venice - - - favourites of ours!

Enjoy the Fireworks!

*** from “Gennarino” a summer fireworks celebration!!

Tanti saluti!                Elfrida

Web:     www.simbari.co.uk - The Simbari Diaries Website

Email:    elfrida.simbari@gmail.com