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Woodstock in the Rear View Mirror

Skolnick, Woodstock Fortieth Anniversary 2009

 

A look back at our 40th Anniversary Woodstock Party with artist Arnold Skolnick

With the 50th Anniversary of Woodstock now upon us, I revisited the photos from our 40th Anniversary Celebration at the gallery 10 years ago today.  We were joined by Arnold Skolnick, the artist of the famous poster, who graciously signed a stash of original Woodstock trolley format posters for our clients.

Arnold Skolnick, Woodstock, 1969

Arnold Skolnick signs an original trolley format Woodstock poster

We still have a few unsigned trolley format posters at $1500 and one signed large format poster at $3000. Check out the website or call us for details!

Woodstock attendees reunited after 40 years

4 clients who attended Woodstock

Four Woodstock attendees shared their stories

Amongst our 100+ attendees were 4 of our clients who had all been at Woodstock – one actually helped build the stage before the event and spent time with the Grateful Dead, who arrived several days early.  He showed us his uncashed paycheck from the Woodstock Corporation, intact all these years due to the corporation’s bankruptcy after the event.

The 40th Anniversary limited edition silkscreen

Arnold Skolnick signs the Woodstock 40th Anniversary poster 

Arnold also designed a beautiful limited edition silkscreen poster for the 40th Anniversary. The poster shows the Woodstock dove atop a subtle color field with a running line of text, like a ticker tape, that recalls the dreams (Age of Aquarius, Civil Rights) as well as the nightmares of the decade (Viet Nam, Kennedy Assassination) that the peaceful event rose above.  Understated and elegant, it is a fitting tribute to a turbulent era and an event that helped to define it. Hand signed, it is available at $250, and now ON SALE for the week at $200.

 

Arnold Skolnick with the IPG team for the 40th Anniversary party

After attending Pratt Institute, Arnold became a very successful creative at Young & Rubicam, a leading New York advertising agency in the ’60s. He regaled us with wild stories ala Mad Men about the field in the turbulent era.  The Woodstock poster was done freelance.

A fitting image of the maestro in front of a poster by another maestro, Herbert Leupin:

Posters from the 1930s Race Across the Atlantic

A less well known milestone than the moon landing occurred on the same date – July 2090 years ago, when on its maiden voyage, the German superliner SS Bremen arrived in New York Harbor, breaking the record for the fastest westbound crossing of the Atlantic.  The event triggered an intense struggle after a long hiatus between the European powers for supremacy on the Atlantic which was only ended by the outbreak of World War II.

Below is a selection of posters from International Poster Gallery that illustrate the ships that would dominate the news in the era:

1929: Germany’s Bremen breaks the speed record across the Atlantic

vintage poster, ocean liner, Bremen, Europa, Blue Riband

Bernd Steiner, The Next Big Ships are Coming! , 1929

Bremen took the prestigious Blue Riband from the leader of the British fleet, Cunard’s RMS Mauretania, which had held the record for nearly 20 remarkable years. Equally shocking was that the Bremen also broke Mauretania’s record across the Atlantic on its maiden return voyage – a first such achievement – in under 5 days, averaging nearly 28 knots.

This was only part of the news. The Bremen was closely followed by the maiden voyage of a sister ship, the SS Europa. These two sleek greyhounds – as elegant, safe and comfortable as they were fast – signified a shift in the global balance of power and the reemergence of Germany. They were the first two ships fast enough to manage a weekly schedule across the Atlantic. Before them, three ships had been required.

Germany’s new ships spurred a wave of new technology and breakthroughs in safety and comfort. The Bremen’s success spurred an intense new rivalry for dominance of the seas. That these speedy, elegant ships could easily be converted in time of war to troop carriers was not lost on any of the world’s leaders.

1933: Italy’s Rex 

Oceanliner poster of Rex and Conte Di Savoia 1930s

Giovanni Patrone, 6 1/2 days to New York, 1932

 In 1933 Italy’s Rex, the pride of Mussolini, usurped the title of world’s fastest ship from the Bremen, and was quickly joined by its own sister ship, the Conte di Savoia. The advertisement emphasized the Line’s sunny “Southern Route” which avoided the terrible cold of the more frequented northern passage.

The route led the Italians to add innovative design elements that have become standard on cruise ships worldwide. The so-called “Lido features” included outdoor swimming pools and extensive open air decks.

1935: France’s Normandie

Normandie, AM Cassandre, oceanliner, poster 1930s

 A.M. Cassandre, Normandie, 1935

In 1935, France’s Normandie seized the title. The ship itself was a symbol of national honor. From the outset, its mission was to be the largest and fastest ocean liner, and the “ultimate expression of the artistic and scientific genius” of France. Despite a global Depression and fierce competition from Italy, Germany and England, the Normandie succeeded on all counts. It was the first liner to sustain a speed of 30 knots, and on its very first transatlantic voyage captured the Blue Ribbon for the fastest crossing ever — 4 days and a little more than 3 hours.

1936: Great Britain’s Queen Mary

RMS Queen Mary, poster, oceanliner 1930s

A. Roquin, Cunard White Star (RMS Queen Mary & Queen Elizabeth), 1939

A year later Britain finally regained the crown with its much delayed RMS Queen Mary. And on the eve of WWII, it was joined by its own running mate, the RMS Queen Elizabeth, which entered service as a troop carrier. The two ships would survive the war and dominated the Atlantic passenger market until the rise of the airlines spelled their obsolescence.

Shop ocean liner posters

 

“The Eagle has Landed”: Posters of the Space Race

Fifty years ago today the race to the moon culminated with the landing of the Apollo spacecraft and man’s first walk on the moon the following day. Here are a few original  posters from our Space Race archives:

Apple Think Differently Moonwalk

Apple. Think different. 1997

This Apple poster was part of an advertising campaign that commemorated daring dreams that changed the world, from Einstein and Picasso to man’s first walk on the moon in 1969.

Anonymous, Let’s Conquer Space! , 1960

The Soviet Union set off the Space Race in 1957 with the successful launch into orbit of Sputnik, the first artificial earth satellite. The Soviet program took a major leap forward in April of 1961 when Yuri Gagarin became the first human to orbit the earth. This poster, which shows a cosmonaut at the controls of his space capsule in front of a moon-filled window, was designed before his successful mission.

The Soviet’s success also spurred the United States, which had experienced a number of failures in its early space ventures, into action. A month after Gagarin’s success, President Kennedy gave a speech at Rice University that called for the United States to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade.

Sokolov and Leonov, Glory to the Explorers of Space! 1971

This stunningly beautiful poster celebrates the launch of the first space station, Salyut 1, to orbit the earth by the Russians in 1971. It was launched a full two years before the United States’ Skylab and marked a triumph for the Soviet Union after its inability to beat the US to the moon.

The effort continues to bear fruit as a foundation of the international space station program.  The Outer Space Treaty was signed by the US, Soviet Union and Great Britain in 1967 to ensure the peaceful use of space and has now been signed by 109 nations. In the 21st century, a new space race is underway, with several nations taking part, the most ambitious being China and the United States.

Woodstock and its Classic Poster Celebrate their 50th Anniversary

August 15th marks the 50th anniversary of Woodstock, the most legendary rock concert of the Sixties. This poster has become equally famous as a memento of the weekend’s breathtaking musical lineup and its total freedom from violence. It perfectly expressed in one symbol – a white dove on a guitar – what Woodstock was about. Despite its lengthy text, the captivating poster and ultimately the event itself seemed to transcend all the turbulence of the era.

Woodstock, Arnold Skolnick, 1969

The poster is filled with a treasure trove of fun facts – the $18 3-day ticket price, the list of performers from Jefferson Airplane, Jimi Hendrix, The Band, Santana, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Joan Baez and many others, as well as “dozens of curious food and fruit combinations to experiment with.” Imagine if the organizers had allowed the Beatles to perform (they rejected John Lennon’s condition that Yoko Ono’s band be invited as well) and had Bob Dylan not backed out because of his sick son!

This is actually the second “official” Woodstock poster. It was created due to a licensing problem that required the concert to be relocated at the last moment from Walkill to Max Yasgur’s farm in Bethel, New York. The psychedelic style of the first poster was replaced by a more subdued and peaceful message so the event would not be banned again.

Skolnick was a successful art director on Madison Avenue who contracted this job on the side. His instincts were right on the mark. The poster was produced in 2 sizes – a bus and trolley size with a glossy finish on stiff paper, and a larger billboard size. Skolnick was “on print” to supervise their production, and can explain every unusual detail including why the bird has a black beak and why it is a 4 (rather then 3) color offset. The gallery is pleased to have originals in both sizes from the concert (not reproductions) for sale including the artist’s hand signed signature.

Ten year ago International Poster Gallery hosted a 40th Woodstock Anniversary party with Arnold in attendance. For the event, he created a limited edition poster that pays homage to the many turbulent themes and events of the late 1960s. It is also available and handsigned.

Skolnick, Woodstock Fortieth Anniversary 2009

London Underground Poster Series by Severin Discovered

We are thrilled to have discovered one of the most delightful poster series ever created for the London Underground – the rare, 4-part series by Mark Severin, an accomplished Belgian artist who spent the Thirties in London.

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Severin’s designs are a highlight in what is considered the greatest single company poster series ever, some 5,000 posters many created during the 32 year reign of Frank Pick, its legendary head til 1940. London was by 1900 the biggest city in the world, and Pick wanted to use posters to build traffic on the new system’s underused lines in a handsome and friendly way.

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Why go home? (London Underground) by Mark Severin (1938)

Pick primarily focused on leisure destinations to increase nonessential, off-peak journeys. Early on his team created the world famous logo and design system that is still in use today. His fine eye and endless creativity led to his discovery of top artists such as McKnight Kauffer and commissions for world famous designers such as John Hassall, Abram Games, Andre Marty, Andrew Power, Zero, and Man Ray.

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Why wait till later? (London Underground) by Mark Severin (1938)

In the late Thirties, with war tensions simmering, Pick wanted to promote ways to get Londoners to extend their work day in the city before traveling home. Severin’s series, showing the activities hour by hour on a clock made of the Underground logo became an instant classic.

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Why home so soon? (London Underground) by Mark Severin (1938)

Vibrant scenes of restaurants (for after work snacks and later for supper) and crowded movie theatre (Ronald Coleman in If I were King) were followed by The Way Home, one of the best late night city scenes to be found in poster art. Severin’s incisive caricature of Londoners heading to “the tube” perfectly evokes the rich tableau of big city life.

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The way home (London Underground) by Mark Severin (1938)

View all London Underground posters

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