We have thrilled to many great lithographic vintage posters coming our way over the past 33 years. Although the overriding motive has been what is saleable and affordable (as well as distinguished), we have had many moments of simply being dazzled by the artistry and craftsmanship so superlative as to be magic, and a significant part of our life. We’ll present such frissons in the course of several blogs. Here are the first waves.
What strikes us, by way of the great Leonetto Cappiello’s “Buvez du Vin” (1933), is the sense of normality being unable, by way of the French wine, to resist far more than normality. The concentration of the various grapes describes the map of France itself–but a France devoted to the stars.
Posted in Art Deco Posters&Graphics, Poster&Graphic Art, Poster&Graphic Artists, Surrealist Posters&Graphics
Tagged albert fuss, French vintage travel posters, Gino Boccasile, Jean Denis Malcles, Leonetto Cappiello, vintage American posters, vintage French food and beverage posters, vintage Italian posters, vintage movie posters
While global warming complicates the need for nourishment these days, from the perspective of our vintage poster reservoir we cruise along quite alright. Though the strengths of 75 or so years ago might have little to do for the ominous times we live in, we might still convey that here there are many fertile areas and farmers savvy enough to keep things humming.
Our focus in today’s blog is to maintain that the gusto of farm work and the gusto of enjoyment of food and drink are still well alive and kicking, in both corporate and artisanal versions. (Lose the virtues of food, and you’re truly lost.)
Our first instance involves an extended farm family headed toward their neighbors’–perhaps on the occasion of a new baby. (That the service promoted here pertains to hail insurance would be a striking prescience in alerting a crisis.) The sense of well-being and optimism is palpable–agriculture with powerful roots! Continue reading
Posted in Modernist Posters&Graphics, Poster&Graphic Art, Poster&Graphic Artists
Tagged A.M. Cassandre, Geo Ham, Gino Boccasile, Sem, united nations poster, vintage american food and beverage posters, vintage French food and beverage posters, vintage German food and beverage posters, vintage Italian food and beverage posters
In Paris (and elsewhere in France), you’ll notice how many of the structures have chosen variants of white for their surfaces. From distant centuries, they tell us their subtleties and their heart.
Not surprisingly, then, the reservoir of French visual art would display that element in various ways. One of the searchlights shining therewith has been the art deco deftness blazing in the early days of the twentieth century. And, to narrow the phenomenon to its most incisive dimension, we present here the hand-colored lithography of pochoir printing, being arguably the most deluxe area, when advertising apparel in journals, often sent gratis to wealthy buyers.
Disposing, this time, with the production details and companies producing these gems, we’ll concentrate upon the chromatic impacts rippling within vignettes, often ironic and always intelligent. Here the lady, in black and gold, simulates her tower-quality by way of cornerstones at the jacket’s edges. Her whippet would be a sort of calling card, redolent of her domain. Thereby, the somewhat frozen figure cherishes a vast menu of sensibility dovetailing to her surroundings. Continue reading
Though we all know birds trace back to dinosaurs, so many species are so streamlined these days they seem to be very recent. Here, however, though not looking prehistoric, the pheasant is given a definitely old-fashioned brand. Its modest brown variations throughout its body–with a slight redness at the top to puzzle hunters–recalls an old-timey pleasure. The face, with its enhanced eyes and sombre green collar, has something retro about it. This stylization lends an iconic tone to Christine’s fine treasure. (We recall her lovely remark, “The pheasant is a present.”) Continue reading
Here is an art deco toaster. A what?! Yes, even rather workaday home appliances became a mission for the deco imperative. The proportions are exquisite, the metalwork is a joy, the decorative touches are as chic as a prize lighter and the jet-black bakelite handles are a joy to reach out to. The textural consistency of slices of bread is a perfect foil for the shimmering surface; and the pop down/ pop up motions are a fantastic melange of machine age and romance. There is a little, red light, within the thin lines paying homage to the electrodynamics, neatly positioned at the bottom of one side, which conveys a saucy little signal that contact has been achieved.
Mosaics have been produced for thousands of years. The whimsy of patterning stones and other durable elements has long been a means of expressing the delight, beauty and strangeness of the surroundings and oneself. Moreover, mosaics have played an important part in enhancing public facilities, like churches and palaces, whereby specific, quite narrow types of chosen constructions prevail.
In the course of our work in Europe for the sake of finding the optics of vintage posters, we were very fortunate in having brilliant and generous artist friends–now in France, but first met in Toronto, Kim Andrews being a painter, Christine Crepet being a mosaicist. Today we’d like to display, from out of that source in our collection, the magical qualities of this work.
We choose, for our first example, the most odd and daring work, which Christine describes as an amphibian, meaning it can survive on land and in water. Monstrous features come to the fore, with its jagged spine and tail, fashioned out of thick glass brought to a menacing and sustaining point. The large stones along its upper reach serve to characterize a violent attacker. But, getting past that, the chromatic black and gold flourish constitutes a lovely gift of nature. The little toes and lively eye also place this creature as a powerful gem. Continue reading
When war becomes a subject, we tend to concentrate upon horrific violence, astounding machinery, political gamesmanship and lands left in ruin. The world of vintage war posters tends to celebrate a combatant’s power and virtue in the course of validating the heavy costs.
Those well-known phenomena are not, actually, on the table today. There is a civilian component of war which brings to us a remarkable wealth of endeavor very often ignored—but not, fortunately, ignored by vintage graphic artists, in expanding and deepening the war effort, not a source of cash flow. Continue reading
Posted in Illustration Art, Modernist Posters&Graphics, Poster&Graphic Art, Poster&Graphic Artists
Tagged Albert Staehle, Canadian poster graphics, Canadian prairie farming, Canadian vintage posters, New York Worlds Fair 1939, vintage airline posters, vintage American posters, Vintage Fortune Magazine, World War II era
Here’s how the vintage poster love affair began–an email arrived in our mailbox June 10, 2019 from a first time visitor:
“I’m intrigued by this Massey Ferguson poster that you have. I have not really been able to find much information on the artist, J.C. Rousseau other than it looks like he may have designed some cigarette ads in the 60s and 70s as well. Can you tell me anything more about him?” Continue reading
With this shout-out about vintage posters that seem to be missing in action, we hearken to the signs of the time, inasmuch as travel has never been such a magnet as it is now. The styles of such events comprise a stunning range–from airbnb couch surfing to grand cruises and palatial hotels. Moreover, prodigious distances covered by extreme youth and extreme age have become commonplace. No time nor money to “waste” on old lithos? Let’s see.
With those unprecedented numbers of travellers, we wonder how the travel and transportation art of the past, in our inventory, might add depths for wayfarers and jet-setters alike.
For instance, our first gem has much to offer in its sensuousness and coloration, only coming to special elegance and fascination by the powers of lithography, multiplying the tonality of a view. The tiny stature of the plane accentuates the royalty of the cranes, and yet leaves an aura you might never appreciate otherwise. The foliage and the misty lake bring to bear real mystery, seldom if ever, coming through a phone or any camera.
Posted in Modernist Posters&Graphics, Poster&Graphic Art, Poster&Graphic Artists
Tagged Alan Durman, Alberto Bianchi, E. McKnight Kauffer, Jean Colin, original vintage travel posters, Otto Nielsen, vintage French posters, vintage Italian posters, vintage mexican travel poster, vintage SAS posters
Our business could well be described as providing wall decor. The virtues of vintage poster design tended to strut-their-stuff on large surfaces, to be glued to outdoor walls. These productions were not to be sneezed at, inasmuch as the talent pool, first seen in Paris, was very accomplished. It is this uprising which seduced urban decorators to turn to lithographic resources as distinct from paintings.
All well and good, of course. But the same folks who dazzled the populous by way of first-rate posters, were also very active in producing smaller-scale lithographic promotions–in theatre programs, magazine covers and illustrations, wine catalogues, pochoirs, menus, etc. Although the quality of these items was generally as sharp as the very best posters, the aesthetes of the time (and right up to our own time) could, for the most part, not bring themselves to find serious interest in small illumination.
Therefore, today we’d like to introduce our enthusiasm for this work. Our first gem, by posterist-giant, A. M. Cassandre, finds him in a Surrealist mood, having left France for work in New York, as the guns of war were imminent in Europe.
Please visit added Fortune illus. by Cassandre: Surrealist Graphic Design Gallery
Posted in Art Deco Posters&Graphics, Illustration Art, Illustrators, Industrial Design, Poster&Graphic Art, Poster&Graphic Artists, Surrealist Posters&Graphics
Tagged A.M. Cassandre, Edward McKnight Kauffer, Eric, leon benigni, Posters and Publicity 1929, vintage artistic magazine, Vintage Fortune Magazine, Vintage L'Illustration magazine, Vintage Vogue magazines