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 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
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:
A less well known milestone than the moon landing occurred on the same date – July 20 – 90 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
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
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
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
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
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 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.
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 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 affect of the green string, and the whimsical flip of the handle represent everything that the department store stands for.
For more Swiss posters, click here!
Stan Galli created some of the best travel posters of the Fifties and Sixties for United Airlines. This sun-dappled poster is one of his finest – the perfect evocation of the hedonistic lifestyle of Southern California in the mid-60s. Our beach blonde in shades could be fresh from a cover shoot for a Beach Boys album or from a present day TV set for MadMen.
Galli passed away in 2009, signaling an end to the golden age of American illustration in the Forties, Fifties and Sixties. Posters from this era have become increasingly collectible and more difficult to find in fine condition.
For more Mid-Century Modern classics, check out our exhibitions entitled – Baby Boom and Global Persuasion!
Erik Nitsche was a promising young Swiss graphic designer who moved to the US in 1934, making his name designing hundreds of album covers for Decca. In 1955 he became the Art Director for General Dynamics, a leading multi-division technology firm most famous for building the first nuclear submarine. There, Nitsche created several spectacular series of posters promoting the conglomerate’s various disciplines.
This design of a whirling propeller is from a series done in 1959 and 1960 promoting the company’s energy and industrial products at the International Conference on the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy in Geneva in 1960. His inventive International Style designs were unlike anything ever created and stand among the best corporate advertising campaigns of the era.
Also by Erik Nitsche, this design of a pyramid made of flags is one of the earliest, produced for the first international “Atoms for Peace” conference in 1955.