Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Kitschy Anthropomorphic Goodness

Though a difficult word to pronounce, anthropomorphism is a fascinating concept. It refers to our tendency to assign human attributes to inanimate objects, animals, nautural forces or abstract concepts. Anthropomorphism is so prevalent in our daily lives that we may not typically even contemplate it's existence. Examples abound in literature (Aesop's fables, Winnie the Pooh, Alice in Wonderland), film and television (Mickey Mouse, Bugs Bunny, Spongebob, Disney's Cars Movie), art and design.

There is often a "childish" charm to anthropomorphic images and objects so it is not suprising that many fabulous examples can be found in items geared towards children

Anthropomorphic objects or images can range from the delightful to the disturbing.

Delightful- the images in Watty Piper's The Little Engine that Could

Disturbing- 1980s McDonald's Plastic chicken mcnuggets toys I am often drawn to vintage items that feature anthropomorphic images, many dating to the 40s and 50s. These items are kitschy, no doubt, which is precisely why I love them! There are always wonderful anthropomorphic goodies to be found on etsy, both vintage and handmade and appealing to kiddos and mommies alike. Just click on any of the images below to be taken directly to their etsy shops.

Vintage Yellow Rubber Squeak Phone Toy from Cottage Prims

Two Peas in a Pod by Plush Off

Tommy C., School Portrait- Altered Vintage Plate by Beat Up Creations

Vintage Pair of Smiling Sunflower Wall Pockets by Songbird Industries
Lemon and Lime- Contemporary Folk Art Doll Set by Cart Before the Horse

Cinnamon Roll Plush by My Paper Crane

Vintage 1960s Anthropomorphic Fruit Full Skirt from Shonna's Vintage

1940s Anthropomorphic Fruit People Valentines from Betseylundquist

The chicken mcnugget image above was taken from The Second Helping House, a fabulous culinary blog that features an anthropomorphic food and kitchen image gallery that is not to be missed!

Jeannie @ Sweet Shop Vintage


  1. I adore your sweet treasury.Thanks for including me.Warm Blessings!~Amy

  2. What an interesting post! I've never heard of this before. So Blues Clues is like an anthropomorphic nightmare then?

  3. Liz Bloem,
    Yes, I often think most children's shows fall under the "disturbing" category mentioned above!

  4. Cool!
    Thanks for shining a spotlight on our dollies :)

  5. Ha Ha - I remember those McNuggets! They were the best. I am familiar with anthropomorphism through my education in art ed./art history, but it is so funny how you go about your day without noticing it. But it is ALL around! What a great idea for a post. Thanks so much for sharing it with us!

  6. Great post! I'll take one of each, please!

  7. we love your etsy store! thanks for including us! we never knew you had a blog, so we are excited to follow it!!! jamie and jenna


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