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.
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
June 13, 2011 § 1 Comment
Early Commercial Air Travel
In today’s fast-paced world, we think nothing of scheduling a morning meeting 500 miles away with the intention of being home in time for supper. We take fast, cheap air travel for granted. It wasn’t always like this. In fact, a mere 75 years ago, the first passenger flights from San Francisco to Hong Kong took 3 days and cost $950 one way — the equivalent of $14,000 in today’s dollars.
Early long distance flights in the late 20’s and early 30’s were solely mail routes. In the U.S., Pan Am delivered the international mail and established routes, hubs, airports, pilots — creating the infrastructure upon which commercial aviation would later grow. Pan Am’s leader, Juan Trippe, thought he could increase profits by transporting a few passengers along with the mail and soon the Pan Am Clippers, also known as ‘flying boats,’ established regular passenger routes across the Pacific. This revolutionized travel: trips which had previously taken one month by ship, were accomplished by plane in a couple of days.
But travel wasn’t glamorous yet. A flight from Paris to New York was a twenty hour trip with two stops to refuel. The Clippers were twin engine planes and they could carry only 20 passengers. Because of this, travel posters in this time period suggest a sense of adventure — destinations were exotic, and the traveler was a pioneer.
Pan Am pressed on, and in 1942 they were the first airline to operate a commercial route circumnavigating the globe with stops ineight cities. Most commercial development came to a halt during WWII, as many of the big planes were pressed into service of the war. Their sole purpose was to carry military brass, soldiers, mail, supplies and munitions overseas. In fact, travel for leisure was discouraged as a waste of resources during wartime.
Aviation was a huge part of WWII, both for transport and for combat. Squadrons of fighter jets helped win the war, but they also successfully trained pilots, advanced aviation technology and cemented routes which could be built on in the postwar period.
The Postwar Period
After World War II, TWA, United, Pan Am and American, battled to dominate transatlantic and transcontinental flights. Technological and marketing advances such as pressurized cabins (1940), the invention of “Ocean Liners for the Skies” aka Coach Class (1944) and Jet Engines (1958) made travel more comfortable, more affordable and faster. Finally, the world was open to everyone. In 1946, TWA joined Pan Am as a provider of international service with flights to Cairo, and soon after, flights to Bombay and Ceylon. Meanwhile TWA and United expanded their intercontinental routes. In 1946, the trip from coast to coast took 10 hours, with one stop to refuel in Nebraska. In 1953 TWA offered the first non-stop service from NY to California.
The travel posters from this time period reflect the sheer joy of travel and they were incredibly effective. Travel by air caught on. In 1958 more than 1 million passengers flew to Europe – for the first time overtaking the number who ‘crossed the pond’ by ocean line. By 1968, Transatlantic air travel had increased to six million passengers. The chance to see the world, a luxury once only available to the elite, was now accessible to the masses in the post war period.
Airlines and boards of tourism poured money into their ad campaigns, as they tried to capture a slice of the tourist’s heart and therefore their dollars. Artists such as Guy Georget and Jean Carlu for Air France, (Air France French Riviera photo) David Klein for TWA (Las Vegas photo) and Stan Galli for United produced seductive images of faraway places to entice the viewer to choose their next holiday. Most of the posters were discarded and as a result,those that survived are highly sought after by collectors today.
The Art of the Airways by Geza Szurovy (2002) MBI Publishing
Air France Posters Making the World Dream by Louis-Jean Calvet & Philippe Thibault (2006) pub Le Cherche Midi
This is a reprint from an article published in Los Angeles Modernism Show‘s catalogue of April 3o – May 1, 2011
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.