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POSTER OF THE MONTH - January 2021

Vintage French auto poster Bonhomme Antar 1930
31 1/2"x24 1/2"
I particularly like this French vintage poster, from 1930, for its attention to acting upon both the mundane and the magical. Antifreeze could be a subject that few want to hear about. Yes, persevering in bad weather does touch many. The jaunty vehicle being seen, right as rain, in the distance, shows being small because it tends to be seen as a small and petty subject.
However, instead of flogging a strictly nuts and bolts moment, our deft graphic artist here knows very well how to get things really moving. The road is not only pretty nasty, but pretty gorgeous. The apparition of those motions has provided a glimpse of not only the remote but also the universal. Our little uncanny figure has been mindful that the poetry of life is not a frill. Getting somewhere well, has a topspin which few, unfortunately, choose to notice.
The whole deal here comes with more than scientific know-how. The tableau uses its small, intense area of color, only to become submerged with a grey-white void (including striking compositional touches) beyond creature comforts. It reminds (the alert) that something far more daunting looms in the picture, and only in its range does the "grands froids" (the big chill) "depart" without disaster.

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POSTER OF THE MONTH - February 2021

original vintage airline travel poster SAS South America c. 1960
Otto Nielsen
39 ½” x 24 ½”
A-, P
Rio de Janeiro is one of the most recognizable cities in the world. Despite being dropped into a corner of a less renowned continent, there has arisen a mystique in most eyes to visit soon.
The history there has produced a remarkably strong concern for celebration. Notably, the place becomes a haven of street display and (samba) dance in the days before Lent, no doubt a highlight.
But our artist here, Otto Nielsen, one of the very best posterists of the early days of modernist graphics, chooses not a particularly catchy vision to entice us, but a sense of treasure perhaps even more rewarding. As you see in the work, the famous Sugarloaf Mountain is very down-played; the huge sculpture of Christ the Redeemer is not shown at all. And the renowned beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema are also all but hidden. What is, however, is the largely woven crowd enjoying the sun and sky. When all is said and done, your best bet in Rio, Nielsen says, is the blue deep sky and folks who'd rather connect than make a statement alone. The "fabulous" is everywhere. Special warmth is remarkable.

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vintage French golf poster La Cote Basque 1957
Bernard Villemot
38 3/4" x 24"
Though not specifically about Spring, this is a lovely Villemot poster that seems almost to personify the season that we will all celebrate in a few weeks! In showing off the range of sports and recreational activities to be enjoyed along France's Southern Atlantic shore, it gathers up the tests of skill in a configuration paying homage to more simple gratifications.
The eighteenth hole has been fashioned as a cylindrical (and horse friendly!) mint green valley, the graceful trees of its edges accentuating a drop toward the beach and sea. Little inlets heading toward Spain invite us to meander at will, something easier to do on a fresh Spring day than when the Southern sun is really cooking.

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original vintage Italian travel poster Trentino Dolomiti 1951
Mario Puppo
39" x 26 1/2"
Whether overt or hidden, we live within forces which exert directions. Such magnetism might imply that we're the playthings of crude dynamics, wheeling into a void. On the other hand, we know that something far more attractive embraces our days.
Our Poster of the Month for April, that thrust of spring, provides a wherewithal to recognize that the tempering of physics and its mathematics is no mean force. In fact, it is one's own intentions which can exert as much frappe in the scheme of things. The magnet, in our image here, has been intercepted by a higher power, the power of finite sensibility (which the world of science imagines to be in full control).
It's the land of Italy and its care of the personal. The modest--even tiny--event is not a place to show off crude, expensive dynamics, but instead vignettes of simple joy, to be there at that moment. However, we are in the hands of, arguably, the greatest of modernist Italian posterists, namely, Mario Puppo (1913-1989). His seemingly casual scattering of lovely verdancy, plays, ironically, against the hard and sterile mountain range.

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original vintage travel poster Italy Pan American c. 1950
42” x 28”
A-, L
There are many graphic approaches in the always highly anticipated world of vintage travel posters. One major tack is to hit the viewer with a facsimile of some attraction so close to the powerful facts that you want to go there and absorb it in person. Another strategy, the one chosen by the artist of the current instance, is to come up with a distillate of the atmosphere so unlike that of one's home that you wouldn't dare miss it.
The delicate color shift in the title---covering the nation's flag---opens the curtain on a place where structures and people oscillate between heaven and earth. We have the Leaning Tower of Pisa and a correspondingly leaning carabinieri (Italian National Police)---each in a state of mysterious elation (the welcoming party being faceless in the spirit of will-o'-the-wisp Futurism). We have monumental architecture that fades into an uncanny, euphoric spaciousness. This essence of Italy at its finest exerts a great seduction, powerfully speaking to our innate need for discovery.
A special feature of this work is its sophisticated color design and glorious color lithography, imbuing the vignette with rich, delicious energy.

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original vintage travel poster Du Bal Musette au Dancing 1925
Armand Vallée
12 3/4" x 20 1/2"
A-,L; La Vie Parisienne
Over a century ago, in the City of Paris, all the takeoff of madcap was in the air--Parisian dance of the Jazz Age. It especially situated in the most urban and urgent area. Our 1925 offset lithographic sweetheart of a vintage poster here, most skillfully presents highlights of the powers-that-be at that special moment, a compendium of metamorphosis seen and lost.
Vallée's dance hot spots in Paris include: À Montparnasse, Au Cours de Danse, À Montmartre , Aux Gobelins, Sur la Butte, and Aux Champs-Elysées. First of all, there is, at top-center, Au Cours de Dance, for "beginners of couth." The teacher being the picture of grace, maintaining an utmost of impressiveness. The two larger clubs, at top corners, À Montparnasse and À Montmartre, would be the precincts where loyalty never fails to miss an evening. Here dance and attitude have become central to their well-being. The crimson hall in the center,Sur la Butte, would be reserved for tourists. And in the shadows of two lower caves---like an underworld---there are two distinct (most prominent ) dangerous and fascinating societies. To the left, Aux Gobelins, there is the faction of those being a hideaway. At the right cave, Aux Champs-Elysées, the decor is very fine. The wine and cuisine are what they have always "enjoyed." But they would be of the cluster who could see that their future could be reflective, at home. And they can't drop being "real Parisians."

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original vintage travel poster Ariadne 1958
Oswald Voh
39" x 28"
With this witty tribute to good times, we should broach the subject of enlisting movie celebrities to enhance the powers of graphic promotions. Here we have Audrey Hepburn(British actress), not described as such, but clearly a factor. Audrey was always at her best as a breezy good time girl, and here she's wrapped up in the myth of Ariadne (the name of the gleaming cruise ship shown on perfect waters and under perfect skies). As the larger-than-life bride of Bacchus (god of wine and wild revelry), she embodies the simple, sybaritic joys of cruising and characteristically brings along some delicious goodies for the trip. The attractive little catch here is that, in her sleek good health, she eschews the excesses of her lover and, like Audrey, keeps things light with a fruit diet.

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vintage fashion poster PKZ
Marcel Hemjic
50" x 35"
A-, Japan Paperbacking
Here is a graphic design that seems to call out for responses to its seasonal evocativeness. But we'll take another avenue of appreciation, namely, delight in a solitary walk. This being about a Zurich clothier, we could take up the proud loneliness of the successful businessman; but we won't go there, either.What we will consider are the precise balances of the cut of the sleeves and the hem as touched by a Manhattan-like gridwork facilitating progressions that are both part of and out of this world. I love how the bolts on his scarf resume their pitch into terra firma by way of outlining of the cane (and even the trace of his boot).In this perspective the spray of leaves evokes the overall dynamics which the soloist with shaded face undergoes, as he bends into stiff headwinds.
There is a masterful balance of form and color, with its implication that our protagonist is unusually scrupulous. And where has this distinction carried him? There is a masterful balance of form and color, with its implication that our protagonist is unusually scrupulous. And where has this distinction carried him? The art deco frappe of this business-as-usual promotion would seem to be including a dimension beyond the domain of shopping. Like so many great vintage graphics, it is subtly touched by excitements having to do with the days dwindling down and the luxurious rewards included in facing up to that situation.

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POSTER OF THE MONTH - September 2021

vintage French  travel poster Les Poissons Volants c.1950
Jean Charles Roux
24” x 16 ½”
A-, P
The Côte d'Azur is one of the most flighty playgrounds in the world. Plutocrats and other adventurers from every corner of the globe descend upon these shores with gusto. The six highlighted beaches and hotels know how to overdo it. Therefore the catamaran must be the luxurious choice for sailing.
The Flying Fish(Les Poissons Volants) meets the needs of the outlandish! And what fun!! And what an eye catching vintage poster the artist, Roux, created!

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POSTER OF THE MONTH - October 2021

vintage French art nouveau poster Pacha Noir 1890s
Jules-Alexandre Grun
48" X 34"
B+, L
We can remember the beginning of Halloween festivities in France, in the 1990s. Bemused, no doubt, but also charmed, we'd see an unexpected premium upon seriality--multiple Halloween nights and groups wearing exactly the same costumes!.
Our poster, predating Halloween-France by a century, pushes all those buttons, giving us tons of Gallic sweetness. The artist, Jules-Alexandre Grun, was a bellwether of inducing, by way of lithographic posters, the denizens of Paris to find their intrinsic wildness and joyousness jacked up to an unprecedented level. Here, from his bailiwick of Montmartre, he offers to us a great local music hall by showing one of the beautiful women and many of the stray cats to be found there. The motif of unbridled sensuality is sustained by the notion of hitherto remote exotica in the term "Pacha," the glorious modelling of the woman and the wit of the composition with its party animals. The composition includes space for an up-to-the moment roster of performers and their offerings. The ensemble also anticipates Halloween in its evocation of creatures on a dangerous wild side of town!
An amazing and beautifully rendered lithographic poster! Closeup images on request.

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POSTER OF THE MONTH - November 2021

vintage French entertainment poster Deso Radio 1949
Pierre Monnerat
50 ¼” x 35 ½”
A-, P
This vintage poster is so much more than a cliché for the fiftieth anniversary of a radio manufacturer. It is, in fact, over and above its seizing the moment to roll out a most handsome lithographic advertisement, a fascinating close-up of that mysterious land from which the business and the poster emanate, namely, Switzerland.
Say what you might about the Swiss, they could never be accused of being sensualists. What with their day-and-a-half shut down of weekends for religious observances and $30 mediocre hamburgers, a degree of constraint is clearly de rigueur. So here we have a potential conduit of fun pressed into the perspective of the ancient guild of Meistersingers (drawing attention to the firm's longevity and strict craftsmanship). An accordingly constrained song bird expresses not a musical composition but the firm's name. The cloud effects perhaps suggest a special song from heaven itself.
Miraculously, with all those strikes against it, the rendering of the creature is most charming, and the whole chromatic piece is a dazzler! We are reminded by this burst of sunlight that exponents of fabulously warm graphic art--like Donald Brun and Martin Peikart--thrived in that atmosphere!

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POSTER OF THE MONTH - December 2021

original vintage sports poster Winter Bewitches c.1950
Rod Ruth
38 1/4" x 28"

What better way to promote the speed and grace of Greyhound Bus service, than to bring to the fore a lovely figure skater gliding amidst an inclement but picturesque winter snowfall. The deftness of the trail she etches on the ice serves as a reminder of the skill and sound human qualities that go into a trip on a Greyhound.
Over and above its promotional subtleties and strengths, this litho somehow captures its 1950s era of down-to-earth, modest pleasures. (There is nothing here of the x-rated figure skating motifs of our time.) And it conjures a time when winter was a bewitching wonderland to be appreciated in intimate, solitary ways.

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