What does Ars Longa mean?

Ars Longa is the Latin translation of a phrase from an aphorism written by the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates. The aphorism contains the phrase: ars longa, vita brevis, which is commonly translated as “Art is long, Life is short.”

Although an unconventional name, the phrase was chosen because it speaks to the unique role that trading cards play in the history of baseball as an organized sport.

Because of the serendipitous developmental paths of camera photography and organized baseball from the mid 19th century forward, baseball’s history is a living history largely because of the art of the baseball card.

While baseball’s seasons, personalities, story lines and audiences are all impermanent and demonstrate the brevity of life, baseball cards illustrate that the art inspired by these moments in time is long lasting, thus preserving legends and legacies long after memories fade, giving us tangible access to the people, places, and events that helped shape and continue to inform our own experiences – as athletes, fans, collectors, Americans, and human beings.

Baseball is part of the human experience, a thread in the fabric of our lives, and baseball cards are invaluable guides that help tell that story.

Like all art, the baseball card is a reflection of contemporaneous life that outlasts its author, subject and era, yet tells a story about them all and, in the process, teaches us something about ourselves. My mission with Ars Longa Art Cards – in product and in name – is to make a meaningful contribution to the baseball card hobby by invoking these essential qualities of the baseball card.

The baseball card is:

  • An enduring art form
  • A powerful storyteller
  • An opportunity for education
  • A reflection of ourselves

I hope and trust that Ars Longa Art Cards exemplify and manifest these qualities; and the name serves to remind me of these aspirations.

Are Ars Longa Art Cards reproductions or reprints?

No. Ars Longa Art Cards are original pieces of collectible art. I incorporate historical design features and images to create original contemporary artwork. I then manually distress each card to create a timeless and attractive one-of-a-kind work of art with an authentic vintage appeal.

My intention is to honor the sport and hobby by bringing their histories to life through art and technology. By drawing attention to certain players, their stories and accomplishments, and drawing inspiration from iconic card designs and images, I hope to make the early histories of baseball and the baseball card more accessible to collectors.

How are Ars Longa Art Cards designed?

Ars Longa Art Cards are designed using my imagination and the latest graphics editing technologies.

What materials are used to create Ars Longa Art Cards?

Ars Longa Art Cards are created with the finest and best quality materials available.

Ars Longa Art Cards are printed with the highest quality pigment inks on the finest 24 mil, acid-free archival card stock available. All materials are chosen for their quality and ability to withstand the tests of time, storage, handling and display.

Ars Longa Art Cards may look 100 years old, but they are durable and I encourage you to handle and display them. My intention is to evoke the excitement and reverence you feel when holding a century-old piece of treasured cardboard that not only depicts a bygone era, but exudes a legendary aura of its own; while instilling confidence that the card will maintain its condition and eye-appeal for generations to come by using only the best and finest quality materials available.

How are Ars Longa Art Cards distressed?

Ars Longa Art Cards are manually distressed using a variety of tools and techniques.

I use paper sanding supplies to round corners, chip edges and create light scratches on surfaces (never on the artwork itself). I then carefully apply a variety of unique, acid-free inks by hand to create a multi-layered patina of simulated wear and age on the cards’ edges, frames and reverses.

No two cards can ever be the same as the distressing process produces countless variations. Great care is taken to ensure that my distressing techniques produce desirable aesthetics without compromising the integrity of the artwork or materials used to create the card.

Are complete sets available for purchase?

Currently, I am only releasing Ars Longa Art Cards as single pieces to be sold in auction format through my eBay store.

How many issues of each card will be produced?

My intention is to release each card 1-3 times per year, depending upon the series and current populations as determined by previous releases.

The final and ultimate number of releases for any particular card has yet to be determined. As of 1/1/2016, the greatest number of issues for any one card is eight.

My intention is to sell my work as long as I can, while maintaining a healthy balance between scarcity, value and demand. At current release rates, it will take many, many years before I can adequately determine when it will be time to retire any particular series of cards.