Otto Baumberger, Doelker Die Weisse Mode, 1923. Many of the early posters were designed for Bally shops, such as Doelker. An exceptionally elegant image by Baumberger.
Emil Cardinaux, Bally Chaussures de Sport, 1924. One of the pioneers of Swiss poster art, Cardinaux created 8 posters for Bally, mostly for sport and work shoes.
Fashion Week is a perfect time to show off one of the best fashion poster series of all time. Perhaps the longest running, most extensive (over 200 posters) and beautiful is the series for Bally shoe. Founded in 1851 in Switzerland, Bally became an internationally respected name in men’s and women’s shoes within 20 years. In 1907 the Company went public and created a position for a publicity manager. Although the first poster was created that year, posters only became a regular part of the firm’s marketing mix around 1920.
What resulted was a spectacular explosion of posters, many created by the best designers in Switzerland, France and Spain that has continued to the present day. Here are six fine examples.
Ribas, Bally Chaussures, 1924. Ribas created three stunning images for Bally in the Roaring Twenties, and captured the glamor of the era perfectly.
Pierre Augsburger, Bally Radar, 1955. Bally started promoting ski boots in the early Thirties. This Object Style poster was a terrific call to action - Lace 'Em up and Go!
Jacques Demachy, Bally, 1947. It is perfectly clear from Demachy's post-World War II poster that Paris couture is back.
Bernard Villemot, Bally Ball, 1989. In the late 80s, Villemot's Art Deco inspired posters carried on the Bally tradition to a new, hip consumer. Note that our Bally girl has a Bally man in the shadows.
Herbert Matter’s poster of a bellhop admiring an overcoat is one of the rarest and most beautiful in PKZ‘s prestigious series. In its sophisticated Art Deco style, it shows the strong influence of Matter’s training in Paris with Cubists Fernand Leger and Amedee Ozenfant. Just 21 years old, Matter would stay in Paris to work with Cassandre on poster design and Le Corbusier on architectural projects. His return to Switzerland in 1932 marked a turning point for Swiss graphic design in its assimilation of Modernism.
For over 60 years the Zurich clothier PKZ teamed with the leading printer J.E. Wolfsenberger to produce Switzerland’s greatest poster series. Marked always by the richest textures and tones seen in lithography, the series featured all of the best Swiss poster artists, from Baumberger and Cardinaux to Matter, Birkhauser and Stoecklin. Given enormous artistic freedom, each artist was allowed to interpret the PKZ man or PKZ look as he saw fit.
February 6 – April 1, 2012
We are proud to present “Back to the Future: Posters for a Brave New World,” an exhibition of original vintage posters that heralded the revolutionary technological and social innovations of their respective times. The show features over 50 original vintage posters advertising fast trains, exotic vacation destinations, new household conveniences, and more. Check it out!
During these tough economic times, my mind invariably comes back to a 1929 Mather work incentive poster above my desk that puts things quickly in perspective. Worry Bags No Game is a terrific reminder that challenges need to be faced head-on, focusing on what you can do – and not on what you can’t.
Printed in Chicago between 1923 and 1929, the Mather work incentive poster series were designed to improve worker productivity and reduce turnover during a time of economic expansion and plentiful jobs. While the posters can be seen as workplace propaganda or camp Americana, they are perhaps most importantly viewed as a visual expression of the idealism and optimism of the rising nation. President Calvin Coolidge pithily summed up in two sentences the ideology of the era in his 1925 speech to the society of American newspaper editors: “The chief business of the American people is business … The chief ideal of the American people is idealism.”
Evoking the courage of hunters like Teddy Roosevelt, this poster inspired workers and managers alike – and seems as relevant today as in the Roaring Twenties.
Our annual Holiday Gift Guide is now available! The gallery staff has been busy choosing their favorite ideas and we’re confident there’s something for everyone on your list. As Villemot’s charming poster promises… “Gifts for all!”
We are proud to present our 18th annual holiday poster show In The Spirit!, an exhibition of original vintage posters that celebrate the mirth and indulgence of the season. The show features over 50 original vintage posters advertising entertainment, fine foods, exotic travel, luxury products, and more. We hope you can stop by our Boston gallery, but if not, click here to read more about the featured posters.
Andy Warhol’s Tomato Soup paper bag from his show at Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art in 1966 is certainly one of the most sought after and expensive disposable carry-alls in the world, and also one of the most popular pieces on display in our Proto-Pop exhibit.
Warhol made his first soup can painting in 1962 which catapulted him and the Pop Art style to worldwide fame. The soup can became an icon of the new style, which used consumer items of all types to reveal (often ironically or subversively) the nature of the Post-Modern consumer society.
Warhol returned to the soup can repeatedly in his career, featuring the image in numerous works. Tomato soup, which was Campbell’s first flavor in 1897, was the artist’s preferred subject. In 1965, Warhol began to experiment with the colors of the can for the first time, which can be seen on the ICA bag.
We’re kicking off Proto-Pop with a look at an Object Poster classic: Peter Birkhauser’s Rheinbrucke.
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 early 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 effect of the green string, and the whimsical flip of the handle represent everything that the department store stands for.
Pop prince Andy Warhol captured a similar aesthetic in his famous Brillo Boxes sculpture, relying on the object to tell a powerful, if altogether contrasting, story. Both artists recognized the natural draw of the Object, and their works speak volumes on the pervasive consumer culture of their respective times.
Our fall gallery exhibit, opening on October 6th, will showcase over 30 Swiss Object Poster masterpieces. Featuring hyper-realistic drawings of everyday things, the Swiss Object Poster focused on the beauty and precision of mundane, commercial products. These stunning, larger-than-life advertisements foreshadowed Pop Art’s similar fascination with basic consumer goods. Both styles transform the commonplace into symbols of their time.
Stay tuned for more details!
Graphic Intervention: 25 Years of AIDS Awareness Posters 1985–2010 is now installed at its fourth venue, the University Gallery at York College of Pennsylvania. The exhibit will be on display through September 20.