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

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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.

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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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

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Here at I Desire Vintage Posters, we have always carefully chosen, for our site, imagery that excites us and would seem to be attractive to many others. But, sometimes, we will have on hand fine vintage posters which the world seems  to be able to ignore. Today’s vintage graphic art blog takes a close look at these items we are delighted to be able to closely touch base with; but, still having a concern that they didn’t click after several years.

Our first gem, displaying such a warm welcome and expert composition, pertains to the iconic World’s Fair, in New York, in the dramatic year of 1939. The theme was “The World of Tomorrow,” as especially spotlighted by the edifices of the Trylon and the Perisphere, housing  dioramas, called, “Democracy,” and, “Utopian City of the Future.”     Continue reading

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There is a glut of movie posters, although you can’t have too many vintage movie posters as created by the astonishing Stenberg brothers, who rocked in the early years of Soviet Russia. (And, of course, there is a pantheon of great vintage lithographic movie posters from all over the world.)

Although we have never paid much attention to acquiring vintage movie posters (the Stenberg’s being prohibitively expensive), we have had, from our early days, a strong commitment to live theatre promotions. A large percentage of vintage general-trade-enticement has deployed theatrical motifs to create a buzz for the product or service. But here we want to discover if the moments in face of the footlights provide a unique intensity and elegance.

Our first example, “That’s the Ticket,” provides a vivacious array of props, by means of which to preview the range of drama being lavished upon us by the company. In providing clues to the night on the town, the wit and mystery, to be offered, somehow goes beyond what a single image can do.    Continue reading

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In addition to the seduction of its forces on behalf of selling a product or service, vintage graphic art frequently shines a light on the future. How so? The optical resources of excitement in first-rate promotional work, in fact, move beyond easy, explicable pleasure, in order to induce an aura of mystery giving us pause. We may not explicitly recognize that addition, but it does allow of comprehension.

For instance, that little (you might say inconsequential) pochoir Christmas card, being our first instance, slightly distorts the figures, in order to facilitate recognition of a dynamic transcending, satisfactorily pleasurable. The tree-branch legs of the trio of sleigh-steeds become family to those birch tree branches. That the passengers chord with the aforementioned sticks develops a harmony while snowbound. The red sleigh, therefore, becomes an agency compelled to going for broke.

Such a delivery  has been famously described as “art deco.” But long before the term took hold, the phenomenon had been an enticing feature.

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