Poster History

New Acquisition: Rare Election Posters by Ben Shahn

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For Full Employment After the War – Register to Vote – CIO Political Action Committee by Ben Shahn, 1944

The Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) was created in 1938 after its split from the American Federation of Labor (AFL). The main difference was a focus on industry-wide organizing rather than by craft.

In 1943, the CIO formed its Political Action Committee, the very first PAC. Its agenda: the reelection of Franklin Roosevelt, and they wisely hired leading social activist Ben Shahn as its head artist. This famous poster powerfully captured that effort, with two welders seemingly looking into the uncertain future. The poster also addressed the Administration’s efforts to eliminate racial discrimination in war industries, in contrast to the more segregated approach of the AFL.

Shahn’s CIO posters are quite rare; this is a particularly fine specimen.

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Warning! Inflation means Depression – Register, Vote by Ben Shahn, 1946

Shahn’s 1946 poster of a Depression era farmer served as a reminder that rampant post-war inflation could plunge the country into a new era of hard times.  Once again, his posters promoted voter registration as a key to making sure that a Democratic victory would yield the vigorous program to overcome this danger.  Shahn made several strong designs for the CIO in 1946, his last year for his work there.

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A good man is hard to find / Progressive Party by Ben Shahn, 1948

Two years later, Shahn’s growing disenchantment with the major parties ripened into his full-fledged support of the Progressive Party. Here, Shahn’s frustration results in a bitingly sarcastic view of Truman and Dewey, the major party candidates, playing on the piano and singing along to “A Good Man is Hard to Find”.

Poster History

Classic Posters, the Olympics, and the Romance of Rio

The 31st Summer Olympic Games are here! This is the first Olympics to be held in South America, and the first ever in a Portuguese speaking country. More than 10,000 athletes from 206 countries will compete in 26 sports.

The Games will be held in Rio, one of the world’s legendary cities and the 2nd largest in Brazil. Despite all the challenges to this Olympiad, the exotic romance of Rio has been undeniable since its discovery in 1565. We pay tribute to the city of beaches, bossa nova and Carnival in original posters from our archives and current stock:

BRX22186Rio Brazil – Wonderful City! by Joa ( c. 1950)
The “geometric wave” design of Copacabana’s boardwalk is beneath the dramatic peaks of Corcovado and Sugarloaf – a brilliant Mid-Century Design.

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Rio de Janeiro by Royal Mail to South America by Kenneth Shoesmith (c. 1935)  

Rio – Swedish American Line, by Ake Rittmark (1937)

Two Art Deco ocean liner posters from the Thirties feature stunning vistas and exotic Brazilian beauties for the rich and famous who could afford the time and money to make the journey.

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Fly to Rio by Clipper – Pan American World Airways by Mark Von Arensburg (c. 1950)

Flying Down to Rio in Five Days via Pan American by Paul G. Lawler (c. 1939)

These are the most iconic Pan Am posters to Rio, one before WWII and the other after. Lawler’s magnificent early aviation poster borrows the title from the 1933 film, Flying Down to Rio starring Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire, and shows a Clipper Ship flying over Sugarloaf from behind the Christ Statue on the summit of Mt. Corcovado. The 1950s design is a remarkable day and night view highlighting the city’s natural beauty and a Carnival Samba dancer below a full moon.

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Air France – Amerique du Sud by Victor Vasarely (1946)

Vasarely’s poster from 1946 is surely the most romantic of all Air France posters, and reflects the rise of Rio as a top destination after the war. The future Op Art master created a dazzling geometric pattern on the waves (perhaps inspired by Copacabana’s boardwalk) as a Lockheed Constellation heads into Rio at sunset. 

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Hotel California – Rio de Janeiro (c. 1955)
An ingenious luggage label for a hotel on Copacabana Beach (its location marked by the arrow) that is clearly the place to be.

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Beneath the Southern Cross, RIO is Calling (c. 1950)
Only seen in the Southern hemisphere, the 4 star constellation known as the Southern Cross is visible from the deck of a cruise ship approaching Rio. The Fifties were a golden age of cruising to South America for Americans. This M & M Line tour was 38 days!

Rio de Janeiro by Howard Koslow (1963)
An incredibly romantic Sixties travel poster of Rio and Guanabara Bay at nightfall.

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Rio – Braniff International Airways by Artist Unknown (c. 1960)

Rio – Braniff International Airways by Artist Unknown (c. 1960)

Playfulness takes center stage in these Mad Men era posters for Braniff, an American airline that specialized in routes in the Western Hemisphere.

View all in-stock Olympics posters
View all in-stock Rio posters

For a History of Olympic Posters, see:
Picturing The Olympics: A History of the Games In 15 Posters
http://www.wbur.org/artery/2014/02/06/olympics-posters

Gallery News

New Exhibition: Summer Getaway! 22nd Annual Summer Poster Show

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 Bermuda – 5 Hours by Air PAA by Adolph Treidler (1937)

International Poster Gallery proudly presents “Summer Getaway! 22nd Annual Summer Poster Show,” including more than 50 original vintage travel and leisure posters from near and far, plus a new discovery of 30 rarely-seen airline posters. This exhibition runs from July 5 – September 5, 2016.

Inspiring wanderlust in the viewer, our travel posters cover locations from Bermuda to Norway and joyously highlight the different aspects of travel. The late Thirties headliner, Bermuda – 5 Hours by Air – PAA by Adolph Treidler pictures a handsome young couple heading out on their bicycles under a star-filled sky. Overhead, a Pan Am flying boat is silhouetted by a full moon.

In contrast to the calm, enchanted world depicted by Treidler, David Klein captures the excitement and energy of the Hollywood Bowl in his vibrant Los Angeles – Fly TWA poster:

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Los Angeles – Fly TWA by David Klein (circa 1959)

Next up in the exhibition are summer sport posters, including Otto von Hanno’s charming 1930s Summer in Norway poster of sail boats playing cat and mouse amongst the fjords and the 1936 Art Deco Australia Surf Club by Gert Sellheim. Von Hanno and Sellheim instill their posters with a sense of adventure and beauty.

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Summer in Norway by Otto von Hanno (circa 1930)

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Australia Surf Club by Gert Sellheim (1936)

The show concludes with psychedelic Rock & Roll posters from the Fillmore Auditorium and beautiful post-war jazz festival posters from Willisau, Switzerland. Posters took on a psychedelic edge in the 1960s when artist Wes Wilson, departing from the neat, functional typography of the 1950s, turned to bubble lettering and bright, clashing colors to advertise rock concerts in the Bay Area. Billy Graham’s Fillmore Auditorium became the proving ground for a pulsating drug-induced style of poster art.

The exhibition includes this Rick Griffin/Victor Moscoso rarity for a Jimi Hendrix concert at the Winterland. It unabashedly blends Egyptian iconography, Gothic lettering and comic book graphics into a playfully surrealistic vision.

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Jimi Hendrix at Winterland by Rick Griffin and Victor Moscoso (1968)

“As always, our 22nd Summer Show is full of fun combined with great design. The energy of Mid-Century Modernism is front and center,” states Gallery owner Jim Lapides, a nationally recognized authority on vintage posters and poster collecting. “Many of these are avidly sought by museums today and are still very affordable to beginning collectors.”

View more posters from the exhibition on our website.

Poster History

Abigail Kellogg Hazard’s Yale and Princeton Prints

Just in time for graduation! We have two handsome original 12 x 18 inch lithographic prints from 1909. They are from a series of designs for all the members of the Ivy League, but to date only Yale and Princeton have surfaced.

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Til Life’s Sun is Set… (Yale print) by Abigail Kellogg Hazard (1909) 

This print features Yale’s lovable bulldog mascot, Handsome Dan. Adorned in a Yale Blue ribbon, Dan is surrounded by a snippet of Yale’s school song.

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While the Tiger Stands De-Fender… (Princeton print) 

by Abigail Kellogg Hazard (1909)

Although its mascot was initially the lion, the tiger grew in popularity at Princeton due to its inclusion in the fight song “The Orange and the Black”. In 1911, Woodrow Wilson’s graduating class replaced their previous graduation gift of statues of lions with statues of tigers. When Princeton became co-educational in 1969, female tiger statues were included for the first time.

Here is the original advertisement for this poster from the June 15, 1910 copy of The Princeton Alumni Weekly:

START RIGHT- AND WRITE AWAY!!!

For the New Princeton Posters

Price positively restricted to $1.00 each. Mail orders. Size 12 x 18. Designed, published, controlled by Miss Abigail Kellogg Hazard, 702 Newark Ave., Elizabeth, N.J. Original, artistic, symbolic, expressive of true college sentiment. In color. Tiger head conspicuous. Motto from the song “The Orange and the Black.” Also Princeton seal. 

 

Poster History

Harry Cimino’s RR Donnelley & Sons Co. Calendar, 1928

One of our most unique recent discoveries, this handsome calendar was printed for RR Donnelley  & Sons, a Chicago-based company specializing in printing, binding, designing and engraving. Each month features a robust American sportsperson, absorbed in the sport of the season.

The calendar was designed by Harry Cimino, a successful and highly skilled Chicago wood engraver. Cimino expertly renders his figures in simple, clean lines, making them pop from the background. Each 21.8″ x 39″ exquisitely printed calendar page was designed to be hung on the wall – often in the offices of Donnelley’s clients. Note too the graphics placed in the blank days of the month – clearly Cimino had fun with his assignment.

View the entire series here.

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Poster History

Acquisition from the Hans Sachs Poster Collection: Rare and Important WWI Aviation Poster

AZ Aero Poster

Imre Spiegel, AZ Aero: Follow All Aviation Events. 1917. Lithograph backed on linen.

One of the great joys of being a poster collector is finding a rarity that brings you right back to your earliest interests and passions. As a boy, I was fascinated with WWI aviation and dove headlong into model-making, visits to the Old Rhinebeck aerodrome and reading about all the aces and battles. I remember going to the library and finding a musty copy of Eddie Rickenbacker’s Fighting the Flying Circus and marveling at his guts as he figured out by trial and error how far he could push a dive before losing the top wing of his airplane.

So imagine my joy finding this remarkable and extremely rare Hungarian poster for an aviation magazine during World War I. It dates from 1917, when the war’s outcome was very uncertain, and a period when the role of the airplane in combat was evolving quickly. To me, it is the most unusual and evocative aviation poster of the war.

The poster shows a squadron of Albatros bi-planes, the first German plane with twin machine guns. The plane was the scourge of the British air force in the Battle of Arras in April 1917, known as “Bloody April,” where the British lost a staggering 245 aircraft to 66 for the Axis.

The poster, with the headline “Follow All Aviation Events,” interestingly shows a Fokker Triplane in the distance. It was the counter to the British Sopwith Camel and other advanced machines which arrived in mid-1917 to duel the less maneuverable Albatros.

This poster probably dates from May to September of 1917, as deliveries of improved Albatros planes began to be produced for the first time in Austro-Hungary. It also corresponds to the arrival of the development and production quantities of the Fokker triplane.

The provenance of this poster is equally noteworthy. It belonged to Hans Sachs, the founder of The Poster Society in Germany and the largest and most important collector of his time with more than 10,000 posters. Sachs’ collection was later confiscated by the Nazis and only came to light in the basement of an East German museum in 1966. Sadly, after a successful multi-decade battle between the Sachs family and the German courts, the collection had to be sold to pay for the hefty lawyer bills.

Poster History

100 Years Ago Today: The Sinking of the Lusitania

100 years ago today, the sinking of Cunard’s luxurious Lusitania off the coast of Ireland by a U-Boat took 1,198 lives (including 123 Americans) and evoked a visceral anti-German reaction in England and the US. The deadly submarine cordon around Britain was one of the most visible signs that WWI would be the most destructive war ever — an all-out struggle involving civilians and soldiers alike. Ultimately the atrocity would be a chief reason for US entry in the war two years later against Germany and its allies.

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This powerful 5 foot tall  “Remember the Lusitania – Enlist To-Day” broadside was printed immediately following the sinking to appeal to the public sentiment surrounding the tragic loss of lives. Consisting of text only, it quotes from the jury’s verdict, which matched the intensity of feelings surrounding the atrocity: the great ship sank in 18 minutes, taking with it many leading figures of the era.

The creation of the Lusitania represented the optimism and technological sophistication of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era. This recently sold poster by Odin Rosenvinge from around 1907 shows the majestic ship slicing through rough seas, seen under a moonlit sky and traversed by the beacon of a nearby lighthouse. Moody and romantic, it is one of the rarest and most beautiful of all ocean liner posters.

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The Lusitania and its sister, the Mauretania, were the largest and fastest on the sea, utilizing steam turbines for the first time. Moreover, the ships displayed unrivaled luxury and comfort prompting its rival White Star to build the Titanic a few years later. The sinking of the Lusitania cut British pride to the core.

Erik Larson’s recently released narrative non-fiction novel, Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania, is a #1 New York Times Bestseller and tells the compelling tale of the sinking of the Lusitania. Larson consulted archival materials, including code books, intercepted telegrams, photographs, U-boat logs, and even love letters from Woodrow Wilson. A great summer read!

Gallery News

New Exhibition: Affordable Classics: Posters for the New Collector

Fourrures Canton (1948 edition) by Charles Loupot

International Poster Gallery  proudly presents “Affordable Classics: Posters for the New Collector”, a show and sale of 50 original vintage posters under $2500 that reveal why the field remains one of the best for newcomers. The show features fine examples from several styles, subjects and eras to indicate the incredible breadth of opportunities for any budding collector or home decorator. Highly accessible, beautifully printed and designed by world-leading artists, advertising posters have more than a 30 year track record of appreciation.

Join us on Tuesday, March 24 from 6-8pm at 205 Newbury Street for our New Collectors Night. Gallery owner Jim Lapides will present a talk on poster art and the do’s and dont’s of collecting.

View more pieces from the upcoming show here:

 Air France - Dans Tous les Ciels by Atelier Perceval  Campari Soda by Franz Marangolo   Las Vegas - Fly TWA (with Constellation) by David Klein

Poster of the Day

Poster of the Day: Rheinbrucke (Everything from Rheinbrucke Dept. Store)

vintage poster, Rheinbrucke (Everything from Rheinbrucke Dept. Store) by Peter Birkhauser

The Swiss Object Poster Style sought to create unforgettable icons out of everyday objects through breathtaking graphics and printing. No one artist knew how to accomplish this better than Peter Birkhauser, who created more than 50 Object Poster masterpieces during the Thirties, Forties and Fifties.

This elegant poster featuring a simple box is a perfect illustration of Birkhauser’s magic – the crisp folds of the wrapping paper, the trompe l’oeil affect of the green string, and the whimsical flip of the handle represent everything that the department store stands for.

For more Swiss posters, click here!

Poster of the Day

Poster of the Day: Los Angeles – United Air Lines

vintage poster, Los Angeles - United Air Lines by Stan Galli

Stan Galli created some of the best travel posters of the Fifties and Sixties for United Airlines. This sun-dappled poster is one of his finest – the perfect evocation of the hedonistic lifestyle of Southern California in the mid-60s. Our beach blonde in shades could be fresh from a cover shoot for a Beach Boys album or from a present day TV set for MadMen.

Galli passed away in 2009, signaling an end to the golden age of American illustration in the Forties, Fifties and Sixties. Posters from this era have become increasingly collectible and more difficult to find in fine condition.

For more Mid-Century Modern classics, check out our exhibitions entitled – Baby Boom and Global Persuasion!