Vintage Posters for the Arts and Crafts Home

September 14, 2012 § 1 Comment

Posters are bold and brash you say? Not the right art for the craftsman bungalows that proliferate here in the Bay Area, where we at Vintage European Posters are based? Well maybe that’s because what commonly come to mind when you think ‘vintage poster’ are the saturated images of art deco such as Cognac Briand below. You only have to dig a little bit to find vintage posters that fit the arts and crafts aesthetic.

Cognac Briand, vintage european posters, vintage beverage poster

Cognac Briand by Stephane

First look to British Posterists like The Beggarstaffs, Dudley Hardy,  and Louis J. Rhead.

Chinatown, Gaiety Girl, The Sun, vintage posters

Artists from left to right: The Beggarstaffs, Dudley Hardy, and Louis J. Rhead

And of course the tradition of British Rail Posters

vintage british posters, vintage european posters, perth, abbeys

Vintage British Railway Posters

All suit the Arts and Crafts home with their limited color palette, restrained ornamentation and neutral colors.  The work of American Posterists can also be appropriate, like that of  Ethel Reed, Will Carqueville, and  William H. Bradley. The American style tends to have more in common with the British style than with the French posters of that same time period.

vintage american posters, william bradley, lippincotts

Three beautiful American posters

Another surprise category which we have seen work very well in our clients’ bungalows is the American World War I ‘home front’ posters.  Not the bloody posters we sometime associate with the war

vintage WWI poster, vintage european poster, neumont

On Ne Passe Pas by Neumont

but the more beautiful posters associated with causes such as food conservation, the YMCA and YWCA, gardening, and The Red Cross.

vintage WWI posters, vintage european posters, YWCA

World War I “Home Front” Posters

From the category of non vintage advertising posters, another great fit is the work of living poster artist David Lance Goines, a Berkeley local.

David Lance Goines, original poster

Two posters by David Lance Goines

Goines uses a very limited color palette – neutral colors such as beiges, browns, blacks, and golds predominate.  Goines has many different clients who commission posters from him, and he draws from nature for many of his designs, whether the client’s product relates nature or not.

David Lance Goines, original poster

David Lance Goines, Sioux City Art Center

As William Morris, one of the grandfathers of the Arts and Crafts Movement, once said, “If you want a golden rule that will fit everybody, this is it: Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”* A motto to live by if ever there was one! One of the things we love most about our vintage posters is that they served a particularly unique function in history, and still remain remarkably beautiful today.

As we prepare for the Pasadena Heritage Society Craftsman Weekend, we are combing through our collection and trying to think like William Morris.  I hope you can join us at this beautifully curated show in October.

For more information on Arts and Crafts homes, check out our friend Arlene Baxter’s wonderful blog about green bungalow homes.

*”The Beauty of Life,” a lecture before the Birmingham Society of Arts and School of Design (19 February 1880), later published in Hopes and Fears for Art: Five Lectures Delivered in Birmingham, London, and Nottingham, 1878 – 1881 (1882).

This post was written by Elizabeth Norris, Owner Vintage European Posters and edited by Emily Jackson, UC Berkeley Art History Student and Gallery Assistant,

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 and at our Berkeley Showroom OUTPOST 2201 Fourth Street, Tuesdays and Thursdays

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


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§ One Response to Vintage Posters for the Arts and Crafts Home

  • […] The upcoming Pasadena Heritage Show means that we are still thinking about Arts and Crafts homes over here at VEP! The prolific artist Heywood Sumner ( 1853-1940)  is a great example of an artist whose work would fit beautifully in a craftsman home. Sumner was an illustrator who worked alongside the Pre-Raphaelites from the late 19th century to the mid 20th century, in addition to being a prominent figure in the Arts and Crafts Movement. […]

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