Sunday, April 18, 2010

Shopping bag graphic

Here is a graphic from a shopping bag that was used for the woman's third floor. Primarily for the better dress department and Salisbury shop.  Does anyone remember this bag?  I have 2 of them in my possession.


  1. The design on the bag is wonderful! The background color is amazing and the number of silhouettes perfect. Very modern! It's fresh, even today!

    Who was responsible for this and other aspects of branding Denholms? Did Denholms have an in-house design staff? They were very creative and talented, whoever they were.

  2. Yes, Denholms did have there own advertising department on the sixth floor. There they were responsible for all of the graphics and copy that appeared in Newspapers and shopping bags.

    Thank you so much for reading!!!

  3. What a great blog. I never saw the inside of Denholm's as my grandfather was the general manager of Filene's Basement in Boston and I grew up in the Boston area.

    However, I married a Worcester man and we lived nearby the old Denholm's during the early 80's. I use to walk by it every day on my way to work and imagined how wonderful it must have been (plus my inlaws told me so!).

    I write a blog of personal essays and just last week I wrote about our old house in Worcester that we renovated. This particular essay is about the third floor linoleum I had to rip out which revealed pages of pristine Mother's Day ads from Denholm's. This only fueled my imagination for this great store. If you want, I'll send you the link to my essay.

    As a result of these marvelous ads, I read a book that you may be interested in. It's by Emily Kimbrough (who co-authored When We Wear Young and Gay, a book that was made into a great film)called "Through Charley's Door". The book is about Ms. Kimbrough working in the great Chicago department store, Marshall Field's in the 20's. Her life sounds very much like your grandmother's.

    Since reading Kimbrough's book, I have read many other stories and reflections from lovely women that made careers in these great department stores. Recently, I finished "Summer at Tiffany's" by a woman who worked for the great jewelry store on 5th Ave during WWII.

    There is a theme with all these wonderful stories, my essay, and your work: shopping use to be wonderfully chic and elegant!

    Thank you for you blog and if you would like to see my essay, let me know. It's a bit coincidental that I found your blog within days of writing the essay. I live in Rhode Island now. And btw, your grandmother seems to be cut from the same cloth as mine. Another woman who made a career in a venerable old department store the likes of which we will probably not see again.


  4. Hi Emily! Thank you so much for your comments. I would love to see your essay! Please do send it to me. I will also get a copy of the book you recommend. It sounds like a great summer read.

    Thank you again for commenting on my blog.
    Have a wonderful day.

  5. Do read the books - you will love the old world charm they depict. I have so many stories of Filene's in Boston, visiting my grandfather and shopping there with my grandmother. Here is a link to my blog essay. Remember the ads I found were from Denholm's. How I wish I saved them!

  6. Chris, Sadly, I didn't keep the papers! I pored over them for many weeks. They were all Mother's Day ads for the years between 1944 -1955. And all Denholm's except for a few from Marcus Brothers (another store in Worcester - that one I did shop at during the 80's and it was lovely). Obviously, the lady of the house (this old house we renovated) had saved these precious Mother's Day ads and her husband lined the floor beneath the linoleum with them! I'm sure they're available at Worcester Public Library on microfilm as they were all from the Worcester Telegram and Gazette. Denholm's artist in residence must have been very good as his illustrations were simply beautiful!

    Keep posting - I love your blog and have told my far flung fashionista friends to take a look. Many of them remember venerable old department stores that their mothers took them too.

  7. Recently I was at a consignment shop and found a sillhouette cutting of a long haired girl. It is a beautiful cutting, it measures 4.5 x 5.5. On the sticker on back it says, Denholm & McKay Co., Worcester, Massachusetts, Picture Galleries, No. 6133. Can you tellme anymore about this piece? I would love to know the history.
    Thank you!

  8. I have three sketches of celebrities' dogs done by Barbara Ann Mearymont. They have a label on the back of them that reads,
    Denholm & McKay Co.
    Boston Store
    Worcester, Massachusetts
    Picture Galleries
    No. 1334

    I can't find anything about them on the Inet. One pic is of Bette Davis' Scottie "Tibby". One is of Mary Astor's English Setter "Sheila". The other two are not in front of me right now. They are available should anyone like to purchase them.

  9. Several years ago some relative gave me a picture ok John F Kennedy (13x17) and on the back of the picture was the name of your company and "Picture Galleries No.17465" What would be the value of this picture today if any? Thank you for your time

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    1. Thank you so much! That really means a lot to me.

  11. I've recently become a fan I have a set of needlepoint landscape prints in org. frames from Denholm & McKay Co.Worcester, Massachusetts picture Galaries #4443...Coul you please give me more informtion on these and if any a value for them...

    1. Hi there! I wish I had information for you. When the store closed all records were destroyed. It is actually my most asked question. I would look for signatures or any information on the artist. There have been some recent instances where some of this art from Denholms has gone for a lot of money.

      Thanks for visiting my blog!

  12. I just purchased a watercolor with the Denholm and McKay picture gallery label on reverse. It is the first one I have seen.

    Vincent Price, a long time art collector once worked with Macy's Dept. store. He traveled the world; purchased fine art which was retailed through Macy's as the Vincent Price collection. There were many important pieces of art that were sold by this method.

    I am taking a guess that there was one or more "art buyers" at that period that did the same for D&M. Each one seems to be numbered and I am sure that somewhere there is or was a log that showed more about each piece.

    If anyone worked their or knows anything this could be a fascinating story. This would be a great project for someone who wishes to hunt down the story of this art. Good Luck!

  13. I was wondering if Denholm made jewelry? I just purchased a masonic tie bar and it came in a Denholm and McKay box.I don't know if it really belongs with the box or not.