Just in time for the opening ceremonies later this week, this gallery favorite tells a rich and timely story. In 1939, the Olympics were awarded to London for the 50th anniversary of the Games (to be held in 1944), but were cancelled due to World War II. After the War, London was chosen to host the Games in 1948 despite wartime damage and the strict austerity of its postwar economy.
None of this high drama is reflected in the timeless poster by Walter Herz, which combines the symbolism of the ancient games in the classical Greek sculpture of Discobolus, with the 5 interlocking rings of the Modern Games. In the background looms London’s dominant symbol, the Houses of Parliament, with Big Ben’s clock showing 4PM – the time at which King George VI would proclaim the Games open.
The so-called “Austerity Games” were enormously successful, featuring athletes from a record 59 countries (although Germany and Japan were not invited and the Soviet Union chose not to participate). The Games were the first to be televised; the BBC paid 1000 pounds sterling for the broadcast rights.
Also, for the first time in 1948, Americans could fly across the Atlantic to attend the Olympics. This example is a very hard-to-find variant with Pan Am Clipper text. There were 3 sizes created; this is the 20 x 30″ medium format.
Browse all of International Poster Gallery’s Olympic posters here.
Have you noticed the latest addition on www.internationalposter.com? The “Get A Quote” button located on every poster detail page allows you to quickly and easily request pricing and condition information. Just enter your name and email and you’ll hear back from one of our knowledgeable and friendly staff members within 24 hours.
We are proud to present Postermania!: Handpicked Summer Favorites, a show and sale of original vintage posters chosen by the gallery’s knowledgeable staff. The term “Postermania” was originally coined during the Belle Epoque and refers to the poster fever that swept Paris during the 1890s. Fittingly, the gallery’s 19th annual summer exhibition features a diverse selection of posters by subject, genre and period, each selected by IPG staff members to reflect their individual tastes.
Read more here, and we’ve love to hear about your favorites in the comments section below!
On May 6, 1937, the Hindenburg, the largest German airship, exploded in flames as it was landing in Lakehurst, New Jersey. Although the immediate cause of the spark is debated, the underlying cause was well known – the United States was the only industrial source of helium in the world and would not sell the “strategic material” to the Nazis. The Zeppelin Company was forced to substitute hydrogen, a flammable material, for helium. The rest is history.
The poster featured above was once owned by the advertising director of American Airlines, the company that managed flights from Lakehurst to New York City for Zeppelin customers. It is still attached to the original board he displayed it on in his office.
For photographs and additional history on the Hinderburg Disaster, we recommend this recent article featured on theatlantic.com.
The IPG staff is busy preparing the gallery for tonight’s Titans of the Sea opening reception and we’re just about ready to unveil this unprecedented collection of ocean liner posters! We’re thrilled to compliment the collection with several artifacts from Boston’s Lannan Ship Model Gallery. The docking telegraph pictured here has a temporary home in our front room near Cassandre’s iconic Normandie. The dramatic piece is from the Matson Line’s SS Mariposa, which was launched in 1931. We’re also excited to be showcasing a model of the Cunard Line’s RMS Caronia amongst other nautical antiques, all of which are for sale at IPG throughout the duration of the exhibit.
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.