Thanksgiving On My Mind

November 24, 2013 § Leave a comment

This is the week we are encouraged to eat more.  It’s a good time to remember the clarion call from World War One to think about others and conserve.

Collectible Poster

Original World War One Poster “Eat Less and Let Us Be Thankful”

There were food shortages in Europe during the war, and the America did a lionshare  to feed the Allied Nations overseas. The U.S. Food Administration was tasked with getting Americans to voluntarily curtail consumption, rather than to mandate restrictions. The population cut back on consumption of wheat, meat and eggs and to eat corn and barley instead. This original poster is part of our collection of American Military Posters and is signed A. Hendee. You can see our entire collection on the web at

Visit our shop in Berkeley, California at 2201 Fourth Street at the corner of Allston Way to see hundreds of posters from Europe and the United States, to design frames and to learn about the history of graphic art.

Otto Nielsen’s Fabulous SAS Posters

August 16, 2013 § Leave a comment

Original aviation poster

Original SAS Scandinavia poster by Otto Nielsen printed in 1960

It’s summer, which makes many of us dream of travel. In the 1960′s Otto Nielsen promoted the romance and excitement of faraway lands with his series of posters for the Danish airline SAS. Nielsen was a watercolor painter who when tasked with this graphic challenge, came up with the clever idea of depicting animals traveling two by two to exotic destinations.

Original airline poster for SAS printed circa 1965

Original poster for South America SAS printed circa 1960

In the early SAS posters, you sometimes see the cool oval globe in dense color. The type style is tight, and in some ways suggests the early Pan Am lettering. The type style changes dramatically in a very short period of time. In the mid 60′s, Nielsen employs a looser brush stroke lettering and embraces daring color. The evolution of Otto Nielsen’s style is apparent when looking at a group of his posters side by side. We are pleased to be able to do just that here at VEP as we have just acquired six more SAS posters, bringing our total collection up to 13.

Original South America SAS by Otto Nielsen circa 1965

Original South America poster by Otto Nielsen for SAS printed circa 1965

Our new acquisitions are not yet available on our website. To see them, and all of our new acquisitions, visit us at the 15th Annual Preview Show, August 16th-18th at Grace Street Catering- 4629 Martin Luther King Jr. Way in Oakland.

Friday 12-8 (Happy Hour 5-8)

Saturday 11-6

Sunday 12-5

Watch for a new blog post  next week for more SAS posters.

It Happened Here Narration

June 4, 2013 § Leave a comment

Year of the People

It Happened Here

Our current gallery show, “It Happened Here” seeks to narrate California’s journey from war to prosperity, and from political upheaval and conflict back to prosperity using original material from our collection. We feature posters from World War II, a special collection of Political and Protest Posters from the Bay Area, and the work of Berkeley’s own poster artist David Lance Goines.  The posters represent how the West reacted to and embraced the monumental changes of the second half of the twentieth century.

David Lance Goines, Chez Panisse, 1981

David Lance Goines, Chez Panisse, 1981

Post War Prosperity

World War II helped pull the United States out of the Depression.

Munitions and shipyard work poured money into the economy and the composition of the workforce changed dramatically because so many men went to war. For the first time, American workers of different racial and economic backgrounds found themselves side by side, united with a common cause.

Anon., United We Win, 1943

Anon., United We Win, 1943

The United States experienced an economic boom in the 1950s, a result of the GI Bill that produced an educated work force, and the expansion of technologies and means of production during the war. This created a wealthy nation with a positive outlook.  Americans bought houses and durable goods, and had children, producing the baby boom.  The American dream expanded from its pre-war ‘chicken in every pot’ to bigger dreams of luxury and prosperity.  And the number of Americans expanded dramatically as well.

Political Discord

The new middle class of the 1950s produced a generation that ‘had it all’.  These children who came of age in the 1960s wanted for nothing material.  With their basic needs more than met, individuals sought different kinds of fulfillment, and began to question both the dominant culture and the military industrial complex that the United States had built in the 20th Century.

Ten Days of Protest

While women had joined the workforce in World War II, they returned home in the 50s and 60s, where they enjoyed a new lifestyle full of durable goods and convenience foods.  The possibility of fulfillment outside the home existed as a memory for American women, and manifested itself in the second wave of the women’s movement in the 1960s and 1970s.

Black Is, Baby

People of color had also achieved material success during World War II.  Some enlisted, while many worked in munitions factories and shipyards, resulting a in a second wave of migration to port cities such as Chicago, Oakland, and Los Angeles. After the war, integration was slow and tensions played out in church bombings, battles over school bussing, and lunch counters.  The Black Power, Chicano Rights, and Indian Rights Movements were born out of these struggles.

Viva La Revolucion

Berkeley Bohemians and San Francisco Seekers

David Lance Goines  attended UC Berkeley and was a part of the Free Speech Movement, during which he was jailed along with Mario Savio.  At the time, he had been learning printing in Berkeley.  After prison, the University seemed irrelevant, and Goines dropped out and fully committed himself to his press, St. Heironymous.

In 1968,  Goines and his friend Alice Waters created ‘Thirty Recipes Suitable for Framing” which were sold at the shop ‘The Kitchen” in Berkeley.  The first edition of  500 sold out in three days.  Thus began Goines’s career as the poster artist for the then nascent restaurant Chez Panisse.  Over time Goines produced posters for such legends at Velo Sport, Peet’s Coffee, Cody’s Books, Acme Bread, Ravenswood, Mr. Espresso, and many Bay Area and national clients.  The products represented were the luxuries enjoyed by the Bohemians who  populated the Bay Area in the 1970’s.  Wine, Good Coffee, Bicycles and Books are still defining parts of our lives in the Bay Area.


This post was written by Elizabeth Norris, collector of peace and conflict posters, and owner of Vintage European Posters, and edited by Emily Jackson, Media Director.

You can see “It Happened Here” at our showroom, “Outpost” located at 2201 Fourth Street in Berkeley, open Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 11-5 and by appointment.  Our pop-up open weekend this month is June 8-9.  The show closes on July 3rd.

To view our full collection of over 1,000 original vintage posters, visit our website.

You can also see us at Dwell on Design in Los Angeles on June 21-23.

Herve Morvan: Jeunesse au Plein Air

May 31, 2013 § Leave a comment

Looking for a summer poster? We know you’ll love the posters by Herve Morvan, whose bright, cheerful style and humorous graphics exemplify the spirit of summer!
Herve Morvan, a famous poster artist known for his playful style and use of color in his humorous lithographs, created original advertising posters that continue to amuse us today. Morvan was born in 1917 and lived until 1980; he enjoyed a prolific career and one that left a lasting impression on society.
Morvan was a friend of Raymond Savignac, who also had a playful style that hints at Morvan’s own. The two French artists knew each other and were influenced by the other’s style, though they competed in their field.

Herve Morvan, Bendix Vainqueur de l'Epreuve, 1968

Herve Morvan, Bendix Vainqueur de l’Epreuve, 1968

Morvan’s posters have quite a range of subjects, because he designed for everything for cigarette adverisements to household items, to travel posters.

Herve Morvan, Geveor

Herve Morvan,

Some of the most playful posters that VEP has of his are the Jeunesse au Plein Air posters. When translated to English, that means “youth outdoors” posters, and indeed, these delightful posters emanate youthfulness and creativity. These playful lithographs bear the words “au profit des colonies vacances,” or “in favor of camps” under the image. They promote children going to summer camps.

Herve Morvan, Jeunesse au Plein Air (sand hat), 1951

Herve Morvan, Jeunesse au Plein Air (sand hat), 1951

One of the posters depicts a smiling young girl with red hair in pigtails sporting a hat made out of a sandcastle. The viewer can just immediately imagine other children playing at beaches during a summer camp; the image of the sand castle hat immediately conjures up thoughts of summer, freedom, and fun for children. Morvan’s poster obviously accomplishes its task of promoting camps for children during the summer.

Herve Morvan, Jeunesse au Plein Air (Duck), 1951

Herve Morvan, Jeunesse au Plein Air (Duck), 1951

The second poster shows two young children catching a carefree ride with a duck. The duck has a camera hanging around its neck, as if it is ready to snap some Kodak moments at any second. The children smile happily, and the young girl holds a bouquet of flowers. The cheery green background evokes feelings of the great outdoors and the endless opportunities of summertime.

Herve Morvan, Jeunesse au Plein Air (Flower scooter)

Herve Morvan,
Jeunesse au Plein Air (Flower scooter)

Morvan’s posters still express the fun and carefree days of summer many years later. Stop by VEP soon to see some of Morvan’s original posters such as these!


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 June 8-9 2013. You can see our collection at

You can also see us in Los Angeles at Dwell on Design June 21-23

General Dynamics Collection Part II

May 22, 2013 § Leave a comment

Vintage European Posters recently acquired General Dynamics’s Nautilus poster, one of the most thought-provoking and captivating lithographs created by the company. General Dynamics created the world’s first nuclear-powered submarine, known as the Nautilus. The General Dynamics company is still in business today, and their products are related to aerospace, combat systems, information systems and technology, and marine systems. After launching the business in 1952, they have since acquired 60 companies.

During the company’s early years, the creation of the Nautilus submarine marked General Dynamics as a powerful innovator. The nuclear-powered submarine was finished in 1954, and it accomplished what many had thought to be impossible – traveling to the North Pole. For more on the history of the USS Nautilus, check out the Submarine Force Library and Museum website.

The light purple color of the nautilus shell is subtle and understated, contrasting with the emanating emerald green hue in the crest of the shell. A spider web at the center of the shell offsets the simple design of the rest of the poster, and a submarine entering the opening of the shell creates a surreal effect. The text below the nautilus shell reads “hydrodynamics.”

The symbol of the nautilus is simple, yet bold, and immediately recognizable. At the time the work of General Dynamics was innovative, and this poster both captivates the viewer and captures the essence of this historic moment in time.

Today, the original Nautilus can be viewed at the Navy’s Submarine Force Museum in Groton, Connecticut. It is a piece of history that serves as the most famous innovation by General Dynamics.


The “Nuclear Fusion” Atoms for Peace poster in French depicts some striated lines in different colors, and then shows a symbol that expresses the physics of nuclear fusion. The simple design and gradation in color draws the viewer’s eye to the center of the poster and creates an easily distinguishable image.


The General Dynamics “Exploring the Universe” original poster depicts the concept of “weather control.” A glass chemistry beaker is filled with clouds, showing a cloud mass in an inescapable silo. Arrows indicate the direction the way the clouds would move in the atmosphere – General Dynamics gives a glimpse of the scientific research at which it excels.


Depending on the subject of the poster, General Dynamics either created a simpler design or a more complex design on the poster. For example, the “Artificial Intelligence” poster has a multitude of shapes with variations of coloration that embody an idea of intelligence and brain power.

Much could be said about both the design of the lithographs and the interpretation of each poster’s subject. Without a doubt, the posters are still effective at catching the viewer’s attention and curiosity.

General Dynamics’s posters are rare and we are excited to showcase this collection of post-war history. All of the posters are linen-backed and available for sale. Please check out website’s science and technology category for availability.


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 June 8-9 2013. You can see our collection at

You can also see us in Los Angeles at Dwell on Design June 21-23

Les Vins de Bourgogne and Place de Vosges

May 10, 2013 § Leave a comment

Les Vins de Bourgogne

Les Vins de Bourgogne

Les Vins de Bourgogne is an original vintage poster illustrated by Guy Arnoux advertising wines from France’s Burgundy region. The poster shows a 17th-century military captain reclining under a canopy of grapes, hinting that the wine has been aged to perfection. This beautiful piece was printed in the 1920′s using stone lithography.

If you visit Paris, make sure to go to Place des Vosges, a lovely park in the Marais which was built by Henry the 4th and inaugurated in 1612.  Place Des Vosges is a formal garden, it features plane trees planted in allees, and triangles of grass.  There is a perfect geometry to the place.  It is surrounded by well appointed  buildings, with shutters and  steeply pitched blue slate rooftops.

As is the case  in much of Paris, the bottom floor of many apartments is used for storefronts and restaurants.  You can have lunch at Ma Bourgogne, and watch the steady stream of people walk in and out of the gates of Place des Vosges. Visit their website to get a taste of this wonderful place.

This post was written by Karlie Drutz, Vintage European Posters special projects coordinator, and 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

It Happened Here: Posters from the San Francisco Bay Area

May 8, 2013 § Leave a comment

stan galli, united airlines san francisco original poster

Stan Galli, San Francisco United Airlines Cable Car, c. 1955

The West has always beckoned to those in search of change.  The adventurous came to California to put a stake in land, to chase after gold, and later, in search of personal transformation in the summer of love.


How did the word get out about the promise of the West?  Posters provide an answer.

This summer Vintage European Posters will showcase a collection of posters from the San Francisco Bay Area in a show titled “It Happened Here.” The show features posters about the Vietnam War protests, women’s rights, black power, as well as selected works by Berkeley Poster artist David Lance Goines.

goines, vintage poster, Applause is Not Enough

David Lance Goines, Applause Is Not Enough, 1994

Don’t miss out on this collection of local history!

The show runs from May 18 – July 3rd

Come visit us for the show’s opening weekend
Saturday, May 18 from 10-6
Sunday, May 19 from  11-5

And see us every week on Tuesdays & Wednesdays from  11-5 and by appointment.

Call us at 510 843 2201 to schedule an appointment.

This post was written by  Elizabeth Norris, owner of Vintage European Posters, and edited by Emily Jackson, Media Director.