December 4, 2012 § 1 Comment
It’s winter here in California, so we are cleaning out our flat files. We have recently rediscovered several of our Irish travel posters from the mid 20th century, and they are beautiful! Irish posters are few and far between, so if you see one, buy it! Chances are you won’t see another for quite some time. These came to us a couple of years ago when we bought a collection of over 200 travel posters from a librarian who had collected travel posters as a hobby. Her collection started in 1948 and ended in 1965, and there were posters from Many countries we had never seen represented in the poster before, including South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, Ireland, Scotland, Tahiti, and Jamaica.
The Irish travel posters that we have in our collection were all printed in the 1950′s. In 1945, at the end of WWII, Ireland was reorganizing its transportation system. The Great Southern Railways (GSR) and the Dublin United Transport Company merged to form Coras Iompair Éireann (CIE), which provided Ireland with the nationalized and multifaceted transportation system that is still in place today.* This merging of companies was followed by a large scale campaign to advertise to new and improved transportation, and these posters are examples from the series. The poster above is specifically advertising Dublin’s coach tours.
This poster was advertising holiday travel by train to the coasts of Ireland. It depicts Killiney, a coastal village just south of Dublin. As you can see, the national railway still passes through today.
This poster advertises ‘An Tostal’, a series of Irish festivals celebrating Irish life and culture with parades, and arts and sporting events. These festivals were held between 1953 and 1958, during which the government printed posters like this encouraged tourists to come celebrate Ireland during the Easter off season.
These posters were meant to appeal to a broad audience across many countries to invite YOU to Ireland, and they still do so today!
*”About Us.” CIE Group of Companies. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Dec. 2012.<http://www.cie.ie/about_us/schools_and_enthusiasts.asp>.
** Photo Credit to 2c on flickr
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, Tuesdays and Thursdays
We will be open during the following weekends in December
Saturday – Sunday, Dec. 8-9
Saturday – Sunday, Dec. 15-16
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?
November 15, 2011 § 1 Comment
For the past five years, we have seen an incredible surge of interest in the mid-century travel posters. We have sold a lot of these posters, and it got us wondering: why are there so many mid-century airline posters?
The short answer is that the US made huge innovations in aviation technologies during World War II, and, after the war, airlines enhanced the routes. Once there were planes and hubs, it was up to advertising agencies to build the market for international travel. And voila! The posters.
Mad Men got people thinking about ad men, and Pan Am, ABC’s new Sunday night show, is going one step further, bringing to life the glamour of travel by plane in the 1960′s. We have enjoyed watching the show and couldn’t help noticing the many posters they use in their decor. So we decided to pull out our own collection of Pan Am travel posters.
Right now in our Berkeley Showroom we are featuring travel posters for destinations VEP staff have visited and loved. Come take a look and catch the travel bug!
We will be open Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11.30-5 in November — except for Thanksgiving — and the first three weekends in December.
August 26, 2011 § 1 Comment
Today we feature the posters of another great poster artist: Guy Georget, and one who deserves more attention from connoisseurs of the travel and product posters.
We have combed our shop library of poster books and found no biography of Guy Georget. Google yields nothing, and even our French Auction sites are mum about the man who created some of our favorite posters, beyond his birth and death dates (1911-1992). Another proof of the fact that poster artists were most often considered mere “ad men” and not true artists. Since an “imaginary life of Guy Georget” hasn’t come out yet, let’s focus on what we do know – his work!
Georget’s first commercial posters appear in the late 1940s. Hired by the tourist boards, the artist produced posters tempting people to visit Spain in which you see the influence of Picasso and Georges Braque.
Looking at the artist’ work s from this period, one is struck by his sense of composition and perspective, and his rather classical choice of subjects. His “España” from c.1950 poster looks a lot like a still life, with rather emblematic objects of that specific genre – fruits, amphora. However, after a closer look, some signs of his later style can be found in the geometric design of the fan, the yellow of the lemon.
In 1960, Georget was awarded a plum which would please any graphic artist – he was selected to design the logo of France’s venerable Postal Service “La Poste”
During this period, he also worked for Air France, another prestigious post for graphic artists of the time.
We have sold Georget’s work spanning a 3 decades the 1940s, the 1950s and the 1960s. During those years, his style evolved from traditional to fun and light hearted. If you look at his work chronologically, you will see how his style became more graphic, his lines bolder, his colors brighter. His “Mexico” poster for Air France from 1963 flirts with cubism. The white outline around the character and the palm leaf makes it appear almost as a collage. The result is a bright, attractive image, evoking Mexico’s sunny weather, folklore and exoticism.
A talented graphic artist to must be “au courant” — on the cutting edge of new trends, of the evolution of art and perception: by adapting his style to his time, Georget managed to keep his clients’ image modern and attractive, and proved his talent as a poster artist.
Speaking of “au courant,” look at how Georget reflects the best of the post-war style in his poster for philips, where lightbulbs go on strike.
If you want to see more Guy Georget posters, come to our showroom in Berkeley or to one of our upcoming shows. You can also visit our website to see our extensive collection of original travel posters from 1880 to 1970.Sources: “Air France Posters: Making the World Dream” by Calvet and Thibault. Publisher: Le Cherche Midi. 2006. This blog post co-authored by VEP Intern Candie Sanderson Student at La Sorbonne Nouvelle And Vintage European Posters’ Owner Elizabeth Norris
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:
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