A local milk company, the Cloverland Green Spring Dairy, has a pair of cartoonish black-and-white Holsteins on its logo, painted with huge eyes staring back at the observer. While following one of its trucks the other day I suddenly realized that both of these cows have been cleverly posed so that no udder is visible --- even though that part of the bovine anatomy is so obviously crucial to the entire corporate enterprise. One cow is standing head-on toward the audience, and in turn it blocks the tail end of the other cow from the viewer.

An obvious design decision once one notices it, but nonetheless slightly puzzling. Are milk bags deemed unæsthetic, or embarrassing, or distractingly funny (a la Gary Larson Far Side comics), or otherwise inappropriate in an image that otherwise is clearly meant to be public, eye-catching, and modern in tone? Perhaps we haven't come so far, after all, from the Victorian habit of putting skirts on piano legs, or referring to bulls as "Gentleman Cows"?

In the numismatic realm, similarly, the original 1916 Standing Liberty quarter dollar was quietly redesigned so that by early 1917 the overexposed upper half of Ms. L was safely clothed in chain mail. In contrast, the reverse of the classic "buffalo nickel" design (1913-1937) and the forthcoming Jefferson (2005) commemorative five cent coin both include a utilitarian part of the male bison in their artwork. Some asymmetry here ...

(see also BovineMind (9 Jul 2003), AwesomeProwess (17 Jul 2003), ...)

TopicArt - TopicHumor - 2004-10-22

(correlates: GorillaPhilosopher, Comments on ImpossibleStandards, StrobingTailLights, ...)