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POSTER OF THE MONTH

vintage French travel poster Paris Welcomes You
International Exposition 1937
Hilden
39” x 24 ¾”
B+, L


The Eiffel Tower was the center piece of the 1889 Exposition Universelle, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution. In 1937, despite very difficult times, Paris staged a hopefully revolutionary International Exposition of Design. Here we have an original vintage poster that takes into account a history of French accomplishment in hopes of rallying a dispirited populace. For good measure, it includes the Statue of Liberty, another iconic endowment from French design savvy and depth. As such, the work emphasizes the special invitation to Americans to refresh their bonds of liberty and reaching for the skies, at a time when most eyes were directed to far less lofty priorities.

I especially like those touches that mark definite progress of vision over the grand but rather musty Tower. Lady Liberty is a deco exclamation mark playing toward shimmering seas--
the ocean liner route to France. The French countryside traversed by the French State Railways is shown to be blessed by golden light and a verdant Paris destination. Thus the play of the design becomes a roundelay of Arts and Crafts (the Tower), Deco (the Statue) and Moderne (the Cityscape).

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