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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!

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

1948 London Olympics – Fly Pan Am

vintage poster, 1948 London Olympics, Pan Am

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.

75 Years since the Hindenburg Disaster

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.

vintage poster, 2 Days Across the Atlantic HAPAG

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.

For New York Fashion Week: Vintage Bally Posters

 

Baumberger, vintage Bally poster

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.

 

Cardinaux, vintage Bally poster

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, vintage Bally poster

Ribas, Bally Chaussures, 1924. Ribas created three stunning images for Bally in the Roaring Twenties, and captured the glamor of the era perfectly.

 

Bally Radar, vintage poster

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!

 

Demachy, vintage Bally poster

Jacques Demachy, Bally, 1947. It is perfectly clear from Demachy’s post-World War II poster that Paris couture is back.

 

Villemot, vintage Bally poster

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.

CONTACT US

International Poster Gallery
460C Harrison Ave. Suite C19
Boston MA 02118

P (617) 375-0076
info@internationalposter.com

Beautiful, Rare & Meaningful Posters from around the Globe.