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.
We just announced our first Facebook giveaway: a 1922 Parapluie-Revel label by Leonetto Cappiello! If you need a strong umbrella for stormy weather, you need one from the Revel Company of Nice, France. In this classic image, all three figures are blown about by the wind, but the Revel umbrellas remain as steady as a rock.
To celebrate reaching 1,000 likes on Facebook we’re giving away this original 5″ x 8″ label to one of our fans. Comment on this post and tell us the name of your favorite poster artist to be entered in to the drawing! We’ll be announcing the winner on Friday, September 9.
We’re excited to be participating in Fashion’s Night Out – Boston on Thursday,
September 8th, 6 – 10pm. IPG will be open late and we’ll be featuring some of fashion’s greatest poster designs from the Roaring Twenties to the Thrifty Thirties, with a spotlight on PKZ and Bally. Join the party on Newbury Street, which will be completely shut down for the first time in 15 years!
Check out all of the FNOB events here.
In the early 30s, Edward Eggleston produced what is often considered the best series of posters for the Pennsylvania Railroad, the most spectacular of which featured Atlantic City. The historically conservative rail line gave Eggleston the freedom to show off the famous Boardwalk with luscious scenes of aristocratic young ladies on the beach by day and night.
Eggleston’s striking beauties are highlighted by a rich color palette and fabulous architectural settings, which create an idyllic world akin to a Hollywood set. Indeed, Atlantic City was in its heyday during the Depression, when a weary public needed an escape to a more perfect world – either of celluloid or sunshine.
This classic image has us dreaming of the beach!