April 28, 2013 § Leave a Comment
The General Dynamics posters are vibrant works whose designs are unparalleled in the poster world.
Eric Nitsche designed three series of posters for General Dynamics from the years 1955 to 1960.
The first series, created in 1955, was called Atoms for Peace, and consisted of 6 posters. These posters all featured a central image with the words “Atoms for Peace” written in a different language on each poster. Some of the specific themes of the posters were: astrodynamics, hydrodynamics, and electrodynamics.
The images in the middle of the poster are striking, they ask the viewer to think – what is that imagery? What is that showing? The poster below embodies the concept “radiation dynamics,” and it evokes a sense of waves generating from the deep red circle at the top of the poster. The design is simple, yet stunning.
Another question we can ask in the year 2013 is: just WHY did they design these posters?
The answer is complex, but one could conjecture that the propaganda was necessary for General Dynamics to promote the peaceful use of atomic energy. Certainly, the history behind the atomic bombs dropped on Japan was fresh in people’s minds even a decade after World War II. People associated atomic energy with a force of mass destruction and tragedy associated with war. The plan for General Dynamics at this time was to change that perception through the creation of these posters that generated a positive association and connection to atomic energy.
Atomic energy was a fast-emerging power source, and General Dynamics displayed the Atoms for Peace posters at the conferences they attended, like the Conference on the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy in Geneva in 1955. These were important tools in representing General Dynamics’s company, which was founded in 1952. What kinds of products did General Dynamics make? Most notably, they made the world’s first nuclear-powered submarine, but some of their other products included medical instruments and rockets.
Why were they in different languages? The different languages include: Sanskrit, French, German, Russian, English, Japanese, Arabic. General Dynamics tried to appeal to an international audience; thus, they tailored their poster to be striking visually for all viewers, but to have writing in different languages on each poster.
The second set of Atoms for Peace featured 7 posters, all created in 1956. Some of the others series of posters that General Dynamics created were the Triga series, which promoted a research reactor, and a series that focuses on a variety of products for energy and industry.
The posters offer a look at how a groundbreaking scientific research movement used propaganda. As artwork, the posters have a vibrancy and visual power that makes them eye-catching. I find it interesting that they are a set that is hard to find in full completeness, and I think their rarity adds even more to their mystique.
Vintage European Posters has been lucky to acquire a collection of General Dynamics posters recently, and we invite you to visit us and see for yourself how intriguing these posters really are.
Right now, we are exhibiting at LA Modernism with 10 newly aquired General Dynamics posters. When we get back to the shop in Berkeley next week, we will photograph them, catalogue them, and upload them to our website, so stay tuned for new acquisitions!
This post was written by Karlie Drutz, Vintage European Posters special projects coordinator,
and edited by Elizabeth Norris, owner of Vintage European Posters.
You can visit our showroom at 2201 Fourth Street in Berkeley on Tuesdays and by appointment.
Call us at 510 843 2201 to schedule an appointment.
Our next pop up open weekend is May 18-19 2013. You can see our collection at www.vepca.com
April 10, 2013 § Leave a Comment
We’ll be rolling up the door this weekend, April 13 & 14 to debut some exceptional new poster finds. Please join us for our Berkeley showroom’s ONLY open weekend in April, for what promises to be a truly spectacular poster experience.
Elizabeth has been on the hunt of late and has turned up over 50 new gems: Italian Art Nouveau, modern travel, tennis, golf, flamenco, bicycles – posters in all shapes and sizes and styles! Honestly, we’ve been up to our ears in cataloguing and the tubes keep rolling in! And now comes the best part: sharing them with you.
After this we take the collection south to the very cool LA Modernism Show, so do come see us and the new posters now while you can. They will not be live on the website until May, when we return.
Don’t forget to measure your walls! We look forward to helping you find just the right original poster for your space.
See you then!
Location: Vintage European Posters Showroom “Outpost”
2201 Fourth Street, Berkeley CA 94710
Saturday April 13 from 10-6pm
Sunday April 14th from 11-5pm
This post was written by Charly Leys and edited by Emily Jackson 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, Tuesdays and Thursdays.
February 25, 2013 § Leave a Comment
In the 1980s, Americans discovered Jagermeister. Now Jager has been around for more than a century, but a lean, mean marketing machine of a man, Chuck Giometti, decided to put Jager in the hands of every college kid in the US, and with the use of Jager girls and chilling machines, he did it.
Where did we drink Jager? In New Orleans on the street, in New York at KGB, in San Francisco at Dr. Bombay’s, in Oakland at the Omni, and at home, never far from the freezer. You must drink it chilled. Imagine my surprise when I visited Germany in 1993, very excited at the prospect of drinking Jager in the motherland and was met with sideways glances by my German friends.
In Germany, Jagermeister is considered the drink of old men, and is used as a digestif. So when I asked for Jagermeister, it was assumed that, well, I needed digestive aid. I found this postcard when I returned from Europe and it really cheered me up.
About 10 years ago, folks began to approach us at shows and say “Fernet Branca?” At first I didn’t know what they were talking about. We learn a lot from our clients, and thankfully, one explained to us that it was an Italian digestif. Over time we learned that when people asked for Fernet Branca, it was safe to assume they were bartenders by trade – today’s mixologists. Asking for Fernet Branca at a bar is code for “I am also a bartender.”
Eventually, we met the man responsible for putting Jagermeister and later Fernet on the map. Mr. Giometti contacted us and asked us to help him assemble a collection of original Fernet Posters. And so we did. Today, he promotes Absente from Micel Roux, Rhum Barbancourt, and Prichards Whiskey to name a few.
Anyway, here is our one and only Fernet Branca poster. I LOVE this piece. It was printed in the 1960s and suggests how cool or “chouette” the liqueur was then. The poster is an original, and we consider it to be in Fine (or A-) condition. The image is a summer image, evoking memories of a long cool drink under an umbrella. Oh happy place, I’m ready for summer already!
February 6, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Hello Clients and Poster Friends!
We are excited to share our collection of original vintage posters at the Hillsborough Antiques Show this weekend February 8-10 at the San Mateo Event Center.
We have exhibited at Hillsborough for 13 years! In that time, we have seen you choose beautiful posters, helped you frame them, enjoyed photos of your homes adorned with your collections, met your children, met your parents, and thoroughly enjoyed being your source for original vintage posters.
We have benefitted tremendously from your referrals, from your good will, and from your enthusiasm about our collection, and our business. Nothing gives us more joy than your anticipation of our recent acquisitions, and geeking out together on dating a poster based on the evolution of the WWI German helmet, or the development of propellers on commercial planes.
Some of you know that we added a new framer a few years ago. We are delighted to work with The Studio Shop in Burlingame. Working with such a talented and professional framer helps fulfill our goal of being your full service poster dealer, choosing frames that take your posters from ‘great’ to ‘stellar’ on your walls.
We were introduced to the Studio by dear clients Harley & Vicki, who raved about the work of this second generation family business. The Studio Shop has been framing for 99 years, and they offer a wide range of frames – from the simplest stem mouldings to hand-carved, water-gilded, closed corner creations, as well as design consultation and installation services.
This weekend, stop by our booth and say hello and pick up a $25 gift card to the Studio Shop. It is a pleasure to refer you to such professionals.
Charly and I head to Palm Springs next week for the Palm Springs Modernism Show, so come and see us now before LA snaps up all of the posters! Due to a date conflict with LA Modernism, we will not be exhibiting at the April Hillsborough Show, so see us on the Peninsula while you can!
With Every Good Wish,
Elizabeth, Charly, and Emily
Vintage Poster Concierges
Vintage European Posters
2201 Fourth Street
Berkeley, CA 94710
San Mateo Event Center
Delaware Street Exit from Hwy 92
Visit the website for discount admission coupon