The Irish Travel Poster – A Rare Gem

December 4, 2012 § 1 Comment

land of legend ireland vintage poster

Brandt, Land of Legend, c. 1950

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.

dublin original vintage poster

Dublin Coach Tours, c. 1950

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.

killiney ireland vintage travel poster

Poster: Ireland Holiday Travel, Killiney Beach, c. 1950; Top: 2c, Killiney, Co Dublin, Ireland**

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.

Ireland original vintage poster

Melai, Ireland Invites You, 1955

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&gt;.

** 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

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