In December 1999, Art Director Laura Mathis and photographer Fred Reaves drove the area photographing holiday doors that caught their attention. Nineteen years later photographer Zach Straw repeated the exercise. For Laura and Fred, it was only the second photo assignment for Evansville Living. Laura had the good foresight to realize the need for a holiday cover design a year down the road, in November of the publication’s first year. For Zach, it was for a revival of that first holiday feature, “The 12 Doors of Christmas,” on the cover and beginning on page 74 in this issue.
Our original inspiration to produce a “12 Doors of Christmas” story derived from an image easily recalled: the Doors of Dublin poster. It created many imitators through the years, including our riff on a dozen doors for the holidays.
I first took notice of the iconic Doors of Dublin poster in The Pub, the ever-popular establishment on Division Street in the former Rosedale Theater. I’m sure the poster was displayed for all of The Pub’s 37 years of existence.
I was curious about the Doors of Dublin photographs depicted on the poster. According to an article on the TripSavvy website (Bernd Biege, July 7, 2019), the inspiration for what now is a defining element of Ireland’s capital began in New York City “in a story straight out of ‘Mad Men.’” Around 1970, a Madison Avenue advertising agency creative found himself in Dublin on a photo assignment. Walking to his hotel, he noticed the symmetry and elegance of the Georgian-style doors he passed. He clicked off 40 or 50 pictures and considered how he might make a souvenir collage for himself.
As the story goes, the ad man’s souvenir collage turned out like no other. He was so pleased with his efforts he offered his collage to the Irish Tourism Office on Fifth Avenue in New York; it was displayed in the window on the eve of St. Patrick’s Day. The design was so popular people walked in the office looking to purchase it. Soon the Irish Tourism Board asked to purchase the rights, and the image became an emblem for Ireland — and inspiration for us, as well. You’ll note we opted for a more varied layout this second time around for variety and to show some doors larger.
For those of you expecting a story on Jim Morrison, I do apologize. My only “Doors” story — being chased from Pére Lachaise Cemetery in Paris without seeing Morrison’s final resting place (it was past 6 p.m. and we had not located his gravesite) — does not have the makings of a holiday story.
As the year comes to a close and we celebrate the holidays, I would like to thank you for reading Evansville Living. May the season be merry, peaceful, and bright!
I hope you enjoy this issue, and, as always, I look forward to hearing from you.
Kristen K. Tucker
Publisher & Editor