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Lenticular Imaging: Venture Magazine

VENTURE: The Traveler’s World Magazine. Bi-monthly and subsequently monthly (1960’s-1970’s) publication of Cowles Communications, Inc with a 6¾” square lenticular cover photograph on the subject of the feature story. These “3-D camera” photos are credited to Visual Panographics, Inc. (then at 488 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022) and in some issues are identified as Xographs ®.

From the June 1965 issue:

The design for VENTURE’s first 3-D cover is by Marilyn Bass, a young Philadelphia-born artist who studied at that city’s Museum College of Art. Now living in New York, Mrs. Bass describes her medium as decoupage...The 3-D photograph itself was made be Arthur Rothstein, Technical Director of Photography of LOOK magazine, who was instrumental in developing this revolutionary new process.”

Publisher’s Log. If you are startled by the cover of this anniversary issue, you have good reason to be: It is the first three-dimensionally produced cover ever to appear on a national magazine.

This revolutionary departure in photography is called XOGRAPH.* The process has been under development by Cowles Magazines and Broadcasting, Inc., VENTURE’s publisher, for more than fourteen years and has been perfected only in the past year. Starting with this issue, XOGRAPH 3-D photography will be featured on the cover of every issue of VENTURE.

The possibilities of three-dimensional photography are enormous, from bringing to life the designs of brilliant artists, such as Marilyn Bass’ paper sculpture of San Francisco on our cover, to re-creating with striking vividness the maiden flight of a new jet. Already our 3-D cameras are roaming the world for subjects. The pictures they take will enable you to step the rim of the Grand Canyon and experience the full impact of its awesome size and depth; to savor the classic proportions of the Acropolis; to sense the very presence of a sheikh standing at a Moroccan roadside.

For almost a century, photographers have understood the principles of three-dimensional photography that could be enjoyed without special glasses.

However, the major problem has been to refine these techniques and adapt them to modern high-speed printing presses. Working with Eastman Chemical Products, Inc., we have hurdled this final barrier.

In addition to the achievement of 3-D printing itself, there was a further challenge in bringing it to VENTURE: It was necessary to develop a new format for our covers, in order to produce the most efficient and accurate application of each 3-D photograph. The result of our efforts is the distinctive new portfolio style cover of this issue.

VENTURE’s aim from its inception has been to involve the reader more personally as a participant in the essential travel experience. We believe that 3-D photography on our covers, and later on inside pages as well, will dramatically enhance the excitement of the world of travel that is VENTURE.

*T.M. Reg. pending.



Jun 1965: San Francisco

Aug 1965: The XOGRAPH 3-D photograph by Art Rothstein was inspired by our portfolio of picnics on page 54.

Oct 1965: New England: Pilgrims’ Progress.  For its New England portfolio, Venture took its 3‑D camera to Mystic Seaport, Connecticut, to recapture the age of sail.  Seen here, along the restored waterfront, is the Charles W. Morgan, last of the wooden whalers.  In the background is the Bowdoin.

Dec 1965: Rome is a City for All Seasons.  On the cover, the heart of the ancient empire, the: Forum.  Inside: Pope Paul VI  8” x 6”; American Express ad card 3.5” x 7”.


Feb/Mar 1966: Luxury Travel: the leisurely, elegant act of eating sumptuously in one of the world’s great restaurants, with setting and service to match the cuisine.  Die-cut cover.

Apr/May 1966: With its contemporary sculpture by Sir Jacob Epstein, the Cathedral Church of St. Michael in Coventry, England, typifies the best of Europe’s new religious architecture.

Jun/Jul 1966: Symbolizing the changing, unchanged North, the totem embodies its mystique and its myth. The thunderbird god, giver of peace and plenty, firmly grasps the killer whale, supreme ruler of the seas.

Aug/Sep 1966: Weekend Destinations...from London, Castle Combe in England’s Historic Wiltshire.

Oct/Nov 1966: Daytime London, its past still showing despite contrary claims, is symbolized on the cover in the spit-and-polish of Trooper Lewis Payne of the Royal Horse Guards.


Dec/Jan 1967: Mexico: the masked mysteries of the Indian world of primitive deities like the rain god Tlaloc at the Museo Nacional de Antropologia, Mexico City.

Feb/Mar 1967: Four imperatives of island life: a shell to imprison the murmur of the encompassing sea; a boat to circumnavigate the land and catch, through expanded angles of vision, the shifting patterns of green earth, blue water; a house architected to the full measure of personal longing; and the sun, the prime mover of wanderlust, between whose rise and fall all island life moves in a rhythm that is older than man. Assemblage by Robert Sullivan. Die cut cover.

Apr/May 1967: The ruggedly grand northern California seashore near Bodega Head, north of San Francisco, was to have been the site of a big power station until Sierra Club conservationists won a fierce struggle to keep it wild. Also has a lenticular inside the issue: ”Montreal has a new dimension-up! And VENTURE’s 3-D camera captures the man, Mayor Jean Drapeau, and the model, Place Ville Marie, that began the transformation to a twentieth-century city.”

Jun/Jul 1967: At the NASA Manned Spacecraft Center; Houston, Texas, a simulated lunar landscape (the rocks come from as far away as Hawaii) permits engineers to test and evaluate the flexibility of astronaut clothing.  Venture’s 3-D camera, anticipating 1970, recently put a quarter-scale lunar module and a cooperative dummy on the cratered terrain to suggest the momentous landing – as well as a Texan’s view of the earth from the moon.

Aug/Sep 1967: Our still life is a tribute to just a few of the special interests our fellow travelers pursue around the world these days – a bearskin for the dedicated hunter, a crystal ball for the ghost seekers in England’s haunted houses, a Greek bust for the archeology buff, a helmet and flag for the auto racing fan, binoculars for the bird watcher and, for the gourmet, a baguette and a bottle.

Oct/Nov 1967: Symbolizing today’s intensified activity to conserve historic landmarks in our cities, a convocation of figureheads at the Mystic Seaport restoration in Connecticut looks to a new future for the American past.


Dec/Jan 1968: A cyclist pauses before the ornamental Gasthaus zum Engel (Inn of the Angel) in the Swiss village of Walchwil – and Venture’s 3-D camera captures the scene through the early morning fog rolling in from nearby Lake Lucerne.

Feb 1968: To symbolize the newest travel target – supersonic speed in passenger airplanes – Venture designed this construction of concentric circles of color, with a model of the first such airliner, the Anglo-French Concord, which is scheduled to fly this month.

Mar 1968: Barcelona is represented by a portrait of flamenco dancer Maria Marquez, glimpsed through a frame in the Art Nouveau style for which the city is famous.

Apr 1968: Aquamania in America: San Francisco’s rebuilt waterfront. (marina in front of Bay Bridge).

May 1968: The Underworld of Treasure Hunting: Robert Marx piles another treasure on a Jamaican beach - the kind you dive for”.

Jun 1968: To symbolize our feature “New In Roads in Europe”, Arthur Congdon designed this stylized map of the continent.

Jul/Aug 1968: Venture dramatizes the traveler’s kaleidoscope of sights and experiences with an exotic mix of remote and impossibly romantic destinations.  The cover blends three elements of far-out adventure voyages: and Antarctic penguin, a Ceylonese elephant, a vivid Polynesian fabric.  Die-cut cover.

Sep 1968: Mexico’s Cultural Olympics.  Waiting to dazzle visitors to Mexico during the Olympics, or anytime, are her riches in music, dance and costume, represented by members of the Ballet Folklorico.

Oct 1968: Jamaica

Nov 1968: The essence of Western skiing – snow, sun and space – is captured in downhill flight.


Dec/Jan 1969: The fiery paper dragon who chases evil spirits is a popular decoration for New Year’s – and any other celebrating season – among Chinese everywhere.  Inside: Seagram’s Benchmark Premium Bourbon card, 6” x 4”.

Feb 1969: The sun, the female form divine, and the watchable birdie that sits on every lens, combine to spell out Florida and our first Color Travel Photography Contest.

Mar 1969: Changing, Changeless Afghanistan: Afghanistan offers many fierce faces to the world: human (like our cover frontiersman), natural, historical.

Apr 1969: Curtain’s Going Up On Romania: Peasant style patterns and a Byzantine dome blend brightly to symbolize a colorful land that is a growing attraction to Westerners: Romania.

May 1969: New directions in the theater: Way off Broadway: The Bard of Avon gone mod amid the wheatfields of middle America points up the dramatic development of significant theater much farther off Broadway than you can throw a producer.

Jun 1969: Peter Finch on Jamaica

Jul/Aug 1969: The Smithsonian Tells It Like It Was – And Is: Out of the American past a political campaign train makes its last whistle stop in the History and Technology Museum of the Smithsonian Institution.  No longer dusty with scholardom, the Smithsonian is alive – and sometimes swinging – we find on our visit to the “nation’s attic” in this issue.

Sep 1969: Southern Africa’s most prized artworks come from its west coast and, as these ceremonial headdresses reveal, combine primitive mysticism with Picasso-like magic.

Oct 1969: The Abundance of Brussels: In salute to the gastronomic delights of Brussels, our edible still life has an appropriate backdrop – an engraving of a harvest by an artist who immortalized the Flemish joy in food, Peter Breughel the Elder.  The four hundredth anniversary of Breughel’s birth is being celebrated this year; the engraving here is from Washington’s National Gallery of Art.

Nov 1969: Japan: In the swirl of texture and color that is Japan for the visitor, two things remain in sharp focus: the supremacy of nature and the cool serenity of the people.  Inside: Seagram’s Benchmark Premium Bourbon card, 6” x 4”.


Dec/Jan 1970: Christmas Customs in the U.S.: “The Nutcracker”.  One of the childhood delights of Christmas is the New York City Ballet’s annual performance of “The Nutcracker”: Patricia McBride as the Sugar Plum Fairy enchants the children on stage and off.

Feb 1970: Metropolitan Museum: Bold Centenarian.  A mounted figure in its gallery of joustware symbolizes the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s habit of tilting with the traditional idea that a museum should be a mausoleum.

Mar 1970: Now’s the season when the traveler’s fancy turns more than lightly to thoughts of Europe; when Holland’s gardens bloom with tulips, can American tourists be far behind?

Apr 1970: The Wines of Germany Come of Age: A hearty spread, to show the kind of food the citizens of Cologne relish, is laid out at the Goblin Fountain near the city’s magnificent cathedral.  Bottles of the German white wines are a part of the feast.

May 1970: Chicago: it tries harder. “The city’s real splendor lies in the architecture; it is one of the architectural showplaces of the world,” rhapsodizes James Morris in praise of Chicago.

Jun 1970: Copenhagen for a Perfect Ending.  From Scandinavia’s large cast of characters, two Danish chimneysweeps take a moment off from business to pose in the courtyard of Christiansborg Palace in Copenhagen, the city that rounds out a journey through the north countries.

Jul/Aug 1970: Safari as a Way of Life.  One of Peter Beard’s neighbors casts a disapproving eye at the camera.  Beard strives hard to save elephants through studies similar to those of irascible Nile crocodiles described herein.

Sep 1970: A Geography of Europe’s Best Cheeses.  Photogenic cheeses like these Dutch Goudas at the Dutch cheese market in Alkmaar deserve picturesque transportation – and get it..

Oct 1970: The United Nations at Twenty-five. Five U.N. guides pose in the General Assembly Hall, heart of the U.N. and setting for this month’s 25th anniversary session.

Nov 1970: Pilgrims Revisited – In England Old and New.  The old mill of the Wayside Inn at Sudbury, Massachusetts, is the backdrop for a tableau of early settlers.


Dec/Jan 1971: Easter Island. New around-the-world routes are a big trend in travel.  Easter Island with its mysterious monolithic figures is but one of the exotic adventure stops on an itinerary that girdles the southern half of the globe.

Feb 1971: A city of multiple blessings, Rio de Janeiro receives eternal benediction from the statue of Christ posed high atop the Corcovado peak.

Mar 1971: Europe by Water: Holland’s Classic Canals.  A stately row of seventeenth century windmills at Leidschendam, Holland, lines one of that country’s ancient highways – a canal.

Apr 1971: Marin County: San Francisco’s Countryside.  Marin County’s tawny hills, swelling steeply out of the Pacific, are alive with hikers and bird watchers.

May 1971: The Chateau Hotels of France. A road well taken is a route that idles its luxurious way down the heart of France from one chateau to another, each offering, at day’s end, some of the most superb cuisine available in travel today.

Jun 1971: Vancouver: Lovely Place for a City. The combination of sleek modernity and marine life in this fountain outside the Vancouver Centennial Museum and H.R. Macmillan Planetarium aptly sums up the city’s outstanding elements.

Jul/Aug 1971: The Zoo Story: A New Chapter in the U.S.  A prime example of the spacious, natural look in zoos: in the Bronx Zoo’s new environmentally accurate great-apes exhibit.  Ollie, a ten year old male orangutan, inspects a treetop domicile that re-creates his Indonesian origins.

52 issues total.

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