August 7, 2012 § Leave a Comment
At our Pop-Up show this past weekend, I had the pleasure of flipping the pile for a woman who was full of stories. As we worked our way through the small pile, we came across a poster for TWA, which led us to a discussion about the TWA Terminal at JFK Airport. I had never seen pictures of it, but the client I was working with assured me that it was worth seeing. She was right.
As I began reseraching the terminal and the history of TWA’s travel posters, I was intrigued by the ways in which aviation and travel posters have changed over the years.
At the start of the 20th century when the airplane was a novel technology, most travel posters were focused on the planes themselves. It was the novelty of the technology, and the broad implications that the power of flight held both for speedy travel and military potential, that were glorified in these early posters. As aviation technology became more familiar and the flights became longer, it became increasingly important for posters to emphasize the comfort level of the planes.
Between the 1930’s and the 1960’s, travel posters began to focus more on destinations, rather than the planes themselves. This genre of destination poster saw its peak during the 1960’s, at the height of the Jet Age, and it was during this decade that architect Eero Sarrinen designed the famous TWA Terminal at JFK.
According to the architect, the curvilinear structure was meant to be an “icon of both modern air travel and modern design,” and an abstract symbol of flight. Sarrinen wanted it to be “a building in which the architecture itself would express the drama and specialness and excitement of travel,” and the curved shapes were meant to “emphasize an upward-soaring quality of line.”
So while the TWA posters of the 1960’s focused on destinations far and wide, the company chose to have the terminal glorify and honor the flight itself. Together they make a perfect pair, both destination and transportation.
The terminal was closed in 2001 after American Airlines bought out TWA, but has recently been restored to its former glory – complete with orange carpets!
The glamour of the Jet Age may have passed, but Saarinen’s beautiful building lives on in memory of an age when boarding a plane was an event and advertisements for TWA were pure works of art.
Written by Emily Jackson, Media Intern Vintage European Posters
Edited by Elizabeth Norris, Owner Vintage European Posters
Established 1997, Member IVPDA
2201 Fourth Street
Berkeley, CA 94710
510 843 2201
March 10, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Olympics Posters have been prized since the first International Olympics in 1896.
Because the Olympics is such an important event and an event which is planned many years ahead of time, Olympics committees develop a concept, sometimes a logo or official image and mascot and then these things become part of the graphic identity of a particular Olympics. The posters are commissioned years in advance, and the artists chosen with care, often by contest.
It is a truism that artists produce better work when they are expressing themselves, then when they are trying to express the vision of their clients by commission. (For more on this, see “Drive” by Daniel Patterson)* This is apparent when viewing the famous “Artistic Series” of Olympic Posters from the 1972 Olympics in Munich.
The 1960’s encouraged experiment, and so, for the first time, a group of artists was selected by the Olympics Committee to create osters and given free reign to create what they pleased. Twenty-eight artists from Japan, Britain, Scotland, Germany, The US, Russia, Austria, Switzerland, Poland, France, Spain, and Italy designed these posters, and they were printed and sold through the Kennedy galleries of New York.
Some of the artists were already quite prominent when commissioned, such as Jacob Lawrence, Joseph Albers and David Hockney. Others were lesser known, A few were rising stars such as Chilled, Hartung, Kokoshka. Regardless of the fame of the artist, these posters are a great graphic representation of the style of contemporary art of the time period.
Many of our clients collect these posters, because they are beautiful, affordable, and they work well in groupings. In fact, they read like pop art when framed with chunky brushed aluminum frames or white frames.
Our blog, for the next few weeks, will feature some of these posters. They fit very well with our March Exhibition “March Masters” which open March 17th in our showroom in Berkeley. This show features the poster art of fine artists. You can view the entire Olympics series on our website in the sports section. Enjoy!
*Pink, Daniel H. Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us. New York: Riverhead, 2011. Print.
June 21, 2011 § Leave a Comment
Dear Clients and Friends,
We have rolled up the posters, we’re packing the van and we’re so excited to see all of the amazing exhibits at Dwell on Design at the LA Convention Center this weekend June 24-26.
You, on the other hand, are probably excited to see all of the new acquisitions to our vintage poster collection.
For good reasons. We have General Dynamic Posters to share. We have Spanish World Cup Posters. We have Air France posters. Milton Glaser, Roy Lichtenstein, Joseph Albers and Stan Galli are all represented.
This three day show is the single most energizing show we participate in. That’s saying a lot for us considering we do 14 + shows per year!
Come for the posters. Come for the inspiration. Come for the shot in the arm. Come for the air conditioning.
We’ll see you there,
Elizabeth Charly and Doug, The VEP Team
Plus Candie and Karlie Summer internsThe Details: DOD June 24-26 LA Convention Center Friday (trade only day) 10-8 Saturday 10-6 Sunday 10-5 Buy tickets in advance or at the door
January 31, 2011 § 3 Comments
If you follow vintage poster collecting, then you know that Winter Olympic posters are quite rare and prized by collectors. These original posters are collectible from the minute they are printed because of their association with the Olympics, and because they refer to a dated event.
There will ALWAYS be a market for Olympic posters and there are few in circulation. Auctions show very strong results for Olympic Ski Posters and we never find them in Europe, because those that turn up are sent straight to auction where they fetch top dollar.
From a decorative standpoint, Olympic posters are also in high demand. Many people love skiing and skating and want these winter sport posters to adorn the walls of their cabins and lodges.
Here at VEP we have never been able to get enough ski posters to satisfy all of our clients who want them. In fact, we have had our collection raided on two occasions by folks who decide to decorate their entire ski houses in one fell swoop and decimated our inventory. As a dealer, I know I am not allowed to complain about this though!
I am happy to announce that this week, I have doubled our ski poster inventory with an exciting find of three Official Squaw Valley Olympics posters and 4 Squaw Valley Posters. We won’t have these for long and their provenance is perfect. I bought them from a fellow who attended the Squaw Valley Olympics in 1960, and brought the posters home as souvenirs. He has stored them in a metal trunk for 51 years. Also in his collection- 2 Switzerland posters, 5 BOAC posters, 3 United Airlines posters, 1 Scotland poster and more! These have all been rushed to the paper conservator to be mounted.
Please visit our website www.vepca.com , view the collection, and click on sports to view our summer Olympics posters and other sport related original collectible posters.
The Olympic posters will debut at the Hillsborough Antiques Show February 11-13, 2011. www.hillsboroughantiqueshow.com.