May 8, 2013 § Leave a Comment
The West has always beckoned to those in search of change. The adventurous came to California to put a stake in land, to chase after gold, and later, in search of personal transformation in the summer of love.
How did the word get out about the promise of the West? Posters provide an answer.
This summer Vintage European Posters will showcase a collection of posters from the San Francisco Bay Area in a show titled “It Happened Here.” The show features posters about the Vietnam War protests, women’s rights, black power, as well as selected works by Berkeley Poster artist David Lance Goines.
Don’t miss out on this collection of local history!
The show runs from May 18 – July 3rd
Come visit us for the show’s opening weekend
Saturday, May 18 from 10-6
Sunday, May 19 from 11-5
And see us every week on Tuesdays & Wednesdays from 11-5 and by appointment.
Call us at 510 843 2201 to schedule an appointment.
This post was written by Elizabeth Norris, owner of Vintage European Posters, and edited by Emily Jackson, Media Director.
October 2, 2012 § Leave a Comment
On our most recent Vintage European Posters field trip, we paid a visit to the Rosie the Riveter WWII Home Front Museum in Richmond, just 10 minutes up the coast from our Berkeley Offices . The museum is a National Historical Park, part of the National Park Service, and admission is free! Our visit was a rich opportunity to learn about local history and find out more about the stories behind our own WWII posters, many of which feature “Rosies.”
The US officially entered the war after the attacks on Pearl Harbor on December 7th 1941, although we had been providing the Allies with ammunition for several years already. The demand for warships skyrocketed, and Richmond’s coastal access to the deep water of the San Francisco Bay made it the perfect location for what would become the “largest and most productive shipyards in the entire world.”* Overnight Richmond went from a small town of 20,000 to a bustling hub of industry with a population of over 100,000, making the Bay Area was an essential hub in the home front effort during World War II. One visit to the Rosie The Riveter Home Front Museum reminds us how much history is truly right in our backyard.
The labor demands of munitions factories changed the gender and racial make up of our region. Many young white men enlisted in the army, and there were far more jobs than could be filled by those who stayed home. This workforce demand meant a massive influx of women and African Americans, eager to find work and contribute to the war effort.
An essential part of the home front effort was the use of posters to encourage young individuals – mostly women – to join the war effort. Daycare programs and America’s first every HMO healthcare Kaiser Permanente were established so that women could devote the majority of their time to production.
While women were encouraged by their government to join the workforce, they did face a certain amount of discrimination in the shipyards. Posters often played a large role in reassuring the male workers that women could work just as hard and be just as skilled as men. In fact, there were some things that women did better! One woman, who was a welder during the war, compared welding to needlepoint, and claimed that one could always tell whether a man or women had done the welding by how neat it was.** Posters like the one below depicted men and women working side by side, having set aside any prejudices in order to work for a common cause.
There were also racial tensions in the workplace, and while we see more posters advertising cooperation between genders, there were a handful of posters with the slogan “United We Win,” such as the one below.
The war came to an end in 1945, and the shipyards were shut down. Thousands of people were forced out of work and expected to make room for the soldiers coming back from overseas. Many women returned home to care for their families, but some continued with industrial work, enjoying their newfound independence. All in all the Richmond shipyards produced seven hundred and forty seven warships during WWII, all thanks to the men and women who worked for their country on the home front.
The Rosie the Riveter and WWII Home Front Museum is a wonderful place to experience our local history and learn about the women who joined the effort to fight for the home front cause. Be sure to check out their website to plan your visit to this remarkable FREE museum!
This post was written by Emily Jackson, UC Berkeley Art History Student and Gallery Assistant, and edited by Elizabeth Norris, Owner Vintage European Posters www.vepca.com
Vintage European Posters was established in 1997.
We are the West Coast’s Largest Dealer in Original Vintage Posters from France and the United States.
See us online anytime at www.vepca.com and at our Berkeley Showroom OUTPOST 2201 Fourth Street,on Tuesdays and by appointment.
As well as at pop up open weekends (sign our mailing list to receive updates about pop-ups)
This fall we will exhibit at the Pasadena Heritage’s Craftsman Weekend October 20-21
The Fall Hillsborough Antiques Show November 2-4
January 30, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Winter always finds me dreaming of travel. This year, we are definitely going back to Europe. We are overdue to visit with friends, and there are posters, there are always posters to be tracked down.
I think the trip will go like this:
We always have to fly out of San Francisco. Sigh, When will Oakland become a real international airport? Oh well. Love the architecture of the I.M. Pei designed SFO International terminal.
This time, we will fly into Germany, and rather than simply going thru customs there, will actually leave the airport and visit with friends. We are hoping to see some great architecture, some castles, visit salt mines, and go on ski runs in the sun.
I have to figure out the train schedule to see what our next move will be. But we will definitely spend time in Paris with our family who lives there.
While my children have been to France a number of times, I am determined that they know the names of all of the monuments, so we are going to do a tourist trip, an attempt to touch everything from L’Arc de Triomphe Carrosel to Arc De Triomphe L’Etoile. Of course we will be stopping for Jardin de Luxembourg, Tuileries, L’Orangerie, the Bateaux Mouche, The Promenade Plantee, Opera, Rue de Rivoli, Bois de Boulogne, Place des Vosges, the Marais, and more.
I can only take so much of any city in the hot summer, so after 4 or 5 days in Paris, we will head to the country.
Where, it will, without fail, also be hot. We have enjoyed exploring Provence in the past, where the wind or “Le Mistral” picks up in the afternoon, howling like a banshee and making the shutters crash if not battened down. On our last trip we visited Ardeches, saw the incredible rock formation, and swam in the cold river. Provence offers a rich experience of the past. The villages are heartbreakingly beautiful, with houses of stone, winding cobbled streets, wooden shutters, window boxes and planters stuffed with roses and pelargoniums.
The landscape of Provence is made up of chalky, craggy hillsides, dotted with olive trees and surrounded by fields of lavender and sunflowers. There are ruins on many hills, old fortresses built into the hills, with vantage points in every direction, overgrown stone stairs, and crumbling turrets. You also find restored castles, full of art and tapestry, furniture, weapons and gift shops. For these you will pay admission.
Now that we know where we are headed, one big choice remains. Should we fly Air France or United Airlines?
October 24, 2011 § 1 Comment
More than 600 posters were carried in the door at our showroom this month, and offered to me for our collection. What’s a paper geek to do? Finding enough good posters to keep our clients happy can be really hard work. I look for good images that people want to live with on their walls. I look for things in good condition. I try to buy them at the right price and be fair to the seller.
How about searching by category? Forget about it! I have no control over what I
find. One month we might sell a lot of French travel posters, so I might think, hmmm, we need more French travel posters. That will, of course, be the day that I find a stack of American World War I posters. As a dealer, I have to buy what comes to me if it is (see above) a good image in good condition.
This month, I wasn’t planning to spend any money on posters. I spent so much over the summer, it was time to take a break and just do some shows and sell some things. And then, the phone rang. A man whose mother had been an art lover, a world traveller, and a bit of a hoarder had passed away, leaving behind a room packed with paper. I said. go ahead, bring them in, and I cleared off some space on my table. When he arrived, he
brought about 12 sleeves of posters, each one stuffed on both sides with paper. As with every collection, I could see his mom’s footprint- I could see where she had been and when. She had posters for museum shows in 1962 in Italy, posters from musum shows in Britain in 1968, posters from Art shows in New York from 1971 and 1972. So, she clearly crossed the pond twice in the 60′s and hung out in New York in the early 70s. She had just about everything else as well. So, he and pulled out sleeve after sleeve of posters, and sifted through them. Nothing for me, nothing for me, nothing for me. I started to wonder if we shouldn’t just quit and load the sleeves back into his car, and then A TRAVEL POSTER. One single poster in the first 200, but enough to renew my spirits and make me empty out the next sleeves.
In the next hour, we turned up 29 more travel posters. There are posters for Chicago, San Francisco, New York, Spain, Italy, Israel and Greece. We rushed them to the linen backer, and will be ready to debut them in time for our next
two shows, Hillsborough and Santa Monica Trunk Show. There are 5 posters in the group that we have never handled before. Yay! I hope you will make it to one of these shows to see these gems before they are snapped up.
See them first at the Hillsborough Antiques Show November 4-6 at the San Mateo Event Center.
August 11, 2011 § Leave a Comment
We are excited to have new Klein posters for our show next week. As we were talking about Klein and the tradition of travel posters after WWII, we decided to share some of what we learned. Klein was born in El Paso, Texas in 1918, and moved to California to attend the Art Center School — later renamed the Art Center College of Design — in Los Angeles.
Like many other poster artists, David Klein started his career as a painter and illustrator. In the 1930′s, he was part of the California Watercolor Society, a group of artists who got noticed for their original use of paper and color and their focus on everyday life in California. Their style was characterized by rich colors and free, broad brushstrokes directly applied onto the paper without any preliminary drawings. There, undoubtedly, Klein learned some of the techniques he later used as a poster artist: quick brushstrokes on large format, bold colors and designs.
During World War II, Klein contributed to the war effort and made use of his talent to illustrate army manuals. After the war, he moved to New York and settled in Brooklyn Heights. There, he started making window cards and posters for many major Broadway shows such as The Music Man and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.
Klein’s major breakthrough as a poster artist happened when he started working for Howard Hughes’ Trans World Airlines (TWA) Klein was asked to develop an advertising campaign for different travel destinations and came up with a clever blend of emblematic landmarks, images drawn from American collective consciousness, bright colors and abstract, modern designs. He captured and defined the atmosphere of places as diverse as New York, San Francisco, Switzerland, Ireland, Paris or Egypt. His posters came to represent the glow of post-war air travel, the Jet Set style so representative of that era. Klein’s work at TWA won many Awards for Excellence from the Society of Illustrators.
Klein then worked with many other companies, including the First National City Bank of New York (later Citibank) for whom he designed a campaign that was so original and became so popular that the bank decided to produce ready-to-frame sets of prints and sell them. There too, Klein won many awards.
A commercial artist, Klein however came back to watercolors at the end of his life — some of them are now displayed in museums.
Although Klein died in 2005, his images continue to influence the poster world. In 2006, the online travel agency Orbitz displayed a campaign Klein designed for them in 2000, and very reminiscent of his TWA years — a sign of today’s nostalgia for the post-war air travel era? Entertainment Weekly recently featured his work in an article depicting the universe of the ABC series Mad Men. One can easily imagine Klein, in his white shirt and black tie, presenting his cutting edge New York poster and its graphic depiction of Times Square to Don Draper, who would then nod and declare “Yes, that is what we want people to feel”
Come to one of Vintage European Posters upcoming shows in Berkeley, Healdsburg, Burlingame or Santa Monica and see our dynamic collection of Original vintage posters advertising TWA from the post war period.
You can also see more David Klein posters on our website, along with many other original travel posters from 1880 to 1970.Sources: http://www.davidkleinart.com/Biography.html http://illostribute.com/2011/04/david-klein/ If you want to read further, we rec0mmend “The Art of the Airways” by Geza Szurovy. Published by Zenith Press in 2002. This blog post authored by VEP Intern Candie Sanderson Student at La Sorbonne Nouvelle Edited by Itinerant Poster Collector and VEP Owner Elizabeth Norris