1930s and Art Deco Travel Posters Where modern posters would feature photographs, travel advertisers between the wars employed artists to create images of speed, luxury and far-away places that still have great appeal today. Chatelaine's Antiques Collectibles Appraisals

 

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Chatelaine's Antiques & Appraisals Magazine > Decorative Arts > Feature: 1930s and Art Deco Travel Posters



Travel by Train: The American Railroad Poster, 1870-1950
by Michael Zega, John Gruber

Rie Munoz: Portrait of Alaska: A Thirty-Year Retrospective of Serigraphs, Lithographs, Posters, Reproductions
by Sarah Eppenbach, Rie Munoz

Railroad Timetables, Travel Brochures & Posters: A History and Guide for Collectors
by Brad Lomazzi

 
Art Nouveau Art Deco Travel Posters

1930s Travel Posters

 Where modern posters would feature photographs, travel advertisers between the wars employed artists to create images of speed, luxury and far-away places that still have great appeal today.

 Just as the 19th century was the age of the railways, when ordinary men and women were liberated to travel in and to explore their own country, so the years between the world wars saw the beginning of international leisure travel on a large scale.

 It was an age when great cruise liners sailed the oceans, when air me companies began to establish regular routes around the world, and when evocatively-named luxury trains such as the Orient Express and the Blue Train hurtled through the countryside of Europe.

Olympic  Titanic
Olympic Titanic
Buy This Art Print At AllPosters.com

 These new and exciting forms of travel were the subject of some of the finest advertising posters produced in the period, with artists vying to present the most enticing and colourful images of luxury and comfort.

 Travel posters, like many other types of commercial art, reflected the various styles and concerns of the wider world of art and design. In the 1920s and 1930s these fashionable influences included cubism, expressionism, art deco and modernism.

 Poster designs were often stylized, drawing on the obsession with basic geometric shapes common to most art deco designers, and were rendered from unusual viewpoints, very low or very high. Sometimes the stylization verged on the abstract. Railway lines, in particular, lent themselves to this sort of treatment. Images emphasizing speed, progress and streamlining were all very popular.

Anonymous - Egyptian State Railways
Egyptian State Railways
Buy This Art Print At AllPosters.com

 The Golden Age of travel posters was ended by World War 2 and the austerity of the post-war years. Later, photographic images were used to entice people to exotic locations.
 Speed, luxury and colour were the stock-in-trade of travel poster designers in the years between the world wars. The images that they created provide a passport to a time when the world seemed a much bigger place than it does today and international travel was both a status symbol and a somewhat uncertain adventure.

  Poster Travel Poster - Boac  Quantas
BOAC Qantas
Poster Travel Poster
Buy This Art Print At AllPosters.com

TRAVEL POSTER COLLECTOR'S NOTES

 Travel posters of the 1920s and 1930s offer some of the most exciting images ever to come out of advertising. Their bold designs and large size - the standard was around lm/4Oin by 75cm/3Oin - make them a striking focus in any room in which they are hung, and they are now increasingly widely collected by transport buffs and art enthusiasts alike. Any aspiring collector will do well to find a speciality. You could choose to look for a particular artist' or subject, or a favourite shipping or travel company or air line.

TRAVEL POSTER PRINTS

 Advertising posters were not built to last; if you find a 1930s poster in mint condition, it's certainly a reproduction. A little damage is acceptable to most collectors, particularly if it's confined to the edges and doesn't spoil the central image. Folds and creases can be smoothed out, providing the paper hasn't cracked or worn along their length.

 The colours are rarely as vivid as they were originally; the inks used fade with time. If the paper has yellowed or become brittle, though, the poster probably isn't worth buying, unless it's a particularly rare example.


Linnea Design - Hotel Ancien Cairo
Hotel Ancien Cairo
Buy This Art Print At AllPosters.com

Toulouse-Lautrec: A Life -- by Julia Bloch Frey; Paperback

Henri De Toulouse Lautrec -- by Douglas Cooper, Henri De Toulouse-Lautrec; Hardcover

Toulouse-Lautrec -- by Henri De Toulouse-Lautrec, et al; Hardcover

Henri De Toulouse-Lautrec
by Patrick Bade, Nicholas Jude

Toulouse-Lautrec: The Soul of Montmartre (Pegasus Library)
by Reinhold Heller

Toulouse-Lautrec: Scenes of the Night (Discoveries)
by Claire Freches, et al

Alphonse Mucha: The Spirit of Art Nouveau -- by Victor Arwas, et al; Hardcover

The Art Nouveau Style Book of Alphonse Mucha: All 72 Plates from "Documents Decoratifs" in Original Color -- by Alphonse Marie Mucha; Paperback

Drawings of Mucha: 70 Works -- by Alphonse Marie Mucha; Paperback

Alphonse Mucha by Don Kurtz, et al

Posters of Jules Cheret: 46 Full-Color Plates & and Illustrated Catalogue Risonne
by Jules Cheret, Lucy Broido

The Complete Masters of the Poster
by Stanley Appelbaum

 

 

Toulouse-Lautrec: A Life -- by Julia Bloch Frey; Paperback
"I expect to burn myself out by the time I'm forty," vowed Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901), whose alcoholism, sexual debauchery with prostitutes and probable syphilis led to his death in 1901 at age 36. In the fullest portrait of the great French artist to date (superbly illustrated with 84 photographs and 50 color plates), Frey traces Toulouse-Lautrec's self-destructiveness to psychic pain resulting from congenital dwarfism and the conflicts of his parents-first cousins from a wealthy, aristocratic, inbred family-who used him as a pawn in their endless power struggle. The combination of a pious, overprotective, controlling mother and a grandiose, anti-clerical, manic-depressive father produced an ambivalent son who sought refuge in art. In oils, lithographs and posters, Lautrec penetrated people's masks and exposed undercurrents of despair, poverty and exploitation beneath the Belle Epoque's superficial gaiety. Drawing on hundreds of previously untapped letters and family documents, Frey, who teaches art and literature at the University of Colorado, has produced a vivid, engrossing, often astonishing biography that delves into Toulouse-Lautrec's obsession with gems and hygiene, his mania for publicity, his love-hate relationship with his mother and troubled relations with other women. 
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
In this readable biography of French painter and poster artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901), which draws on primary sources and family letters, the focus is on biography rather than art criticism. Toulouse-Lautrec, best known for his posters in Art Nouveau style of cabaret performers, was of aristocratic stock; neither of his parents comes off well, and the author casts his life as a reaction to both abandonment by a manic-depressive father and domination by a rigidly pious mother. This psychological approach works well on the personal level. Frey (Univ. of Colorado, Boulder), who has studied the artist for a decade, has a solid command of the literature, though her style can be overly familiar at times. Recommended for general collections. (Notes and color plates not seen.)-Jack Perry Brown, Art Inst. of Chicago Lib.
From Booklist
If Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901) had been born healthy, he would have been a count, but his parents were first cousins--not the only such couple in the family--and their folly led to the genetic malady that caused him so much pain and suffering. A good-natured child in spite of his chronic illnesses and deformity, Toulouse-Lautrec channeled his considerable energy into drawing and painting. At first his parents, a most incompatible pair, were pleased, but once Toulouse-Lautrec was on his own in Paris, living the bohemian life and painting scandalous pictures of cabaret and brothel life, they were mortified, a conflict still raging on the day of his tragic death. Frey, trained as an artist, and with a doctorate in French, is the ideal biographer for Toulouse-Lautrec. As she chronicles his transformation from a pampered invalid into one of the most radical of the fin de siecle artists, Frey expresses a lively and compassionate interest in his complex psyche, and focuses on how he coped with his deformity. Frey also discusses Toulouse-Lautrec's profound ambivalence toward women and his artistic innovations and achievements. Her sensitive, eloquent, and richly illustrated biography has brought the real Toulouse-Lautrec out from behind the scrim of myth and such indelible images as Moulin Rouge, La Goulue for the first time, and he is absolutely fascinating. Donna Seaman
From Kirkus Reviews
Stiff and hobbled by its own exhaustiveness, this biography of Paris's tiny painter/provocateur (18641901) takes lively material and renders it lifeless. Frey (French/Univ. of Colorado, Boulder) raided a trove of newly released Toulouse-Lautrec family letters for this life study. Writing to his dear ``Maman'' and other dotty family members, the painter reveals himself only in the most guarded terms. He presents a foppish self-caricature, one that pokes fun at his own dwarfism, aristocratic background, and artistic pretensions. Frey provides more than ample surrounding historical context. She discusses thoroughly the wealthy Toulouse-Lautrec bloodline, its possible genetic inbreeding, and prickly family dynamic. Lively illustrations throughout enrich the text, and in art historical matters Frey, who has training as a printmaker, is most solid. Paris's period atelier system is depicted with some color. A sensible account of Toulouse-Lautrec's technical development follows, particularly strong in its analysis of the liberating effect that lithography had on the artist's work and its role in propagating his public image. Examined at length are Toulouse- Lautrec's possible influences: the formidable shadow of Edgar Degas, the development of still photography, the radical perspectival schemes introduced to Westerners by Japanese prints, and the philosophical convictions of the social realist and art nouveau movements. Less convincing are the author's constant attempts to second-guess Toulouse-Lautrec's psychological motivations for depicting his chosen subjects--the performers and prostitutes of Paris's bohemian Montmartre--and her ceaseless harping on his chronic alcoholism, possible sex life, and probable syphilitic condition. Frey includes extraneous detail to the point of annoyance. No true sense of Toulouse-Lautrec the person emerges. Painstaking and scrupulously scholarly without managing to be evocative. (84 b&w illustrations; 24 pages color illustrations, not seen) -- Copyright 1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
Atlantic Monthly
Ms. Frey has had access to family papers that were either overlooked or concealed until recently, and these documents have enabled her to provide information on areas of the painter's life in which gossip and guess have previously flourished. Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec's story remains basically what it has always been--an example of great accomplishment against heavy odds of pain and physical disability--but added detail makes it even more impressive, and Ms. Frey's attention to relatives, friends, fellow artists, and dealers creates a solid worldly setting. There are numerous black-and-white illustrations and fifty color plates, which, although small in scale, serve the reference purposes for which they are intended.
Well-written, well-constructed, and intelligently sympathetic, this is an excellent biography of an extraordinary artist.
Book Description
Debauched aristocrat, cabaret painter, accidental dwarf: Julia Frey's definitive, superbly researched biography strips away the myth of Toulouse-Lautrec to reveal the tortured man beneath. A remarkable and compelling portrait, featuring 135 photos and illustrations. Julia Frey earned her Ph.D. from Yale University. An expert on 19th-century French literature and culture, she has taught at Yale, Brown, Sarah Lawrence, and the University of Colorado; she currently divides her time among New York, Boulder, and Paris. A Pen Award-winning writer, she is also the author of Writers and Puppets in Nineteenth-Century France.
Ingram
A definitive chronicle of the life of one of the world's great artists draws from thousands of previously unavailable family letters to capture the essence of Toulouse-Lautrec's life and to accurately evoke his time period.
 

Toulouse-Lautrec -- by Henri De Toulouse-Lautrec, et al; Hardcover
Elisabeth Sherwin, The Davis (Calif.) Enterprise, March 4, 2001
Parents wishing to instruct teen-agers about the world's great art works will find this series extremely useful 
Sarah Raymond, Professionally Speaking: The Magazine of the Ontario College of Teachers, December 2000
The series offers a welcome update to older volumes... 
Kimberly Hundley, Today's Librarian, November 2000
This truly outstanding series, a bargain at $14.95 per book, deserves a place in any private, public, or school library 
Karen A. Wyckoff, ForeWord Magazine, October 2000
...late author and noted art critic Federico Zeri's engaging verve and expertise are cast easily within even a novice's grasp... 
Book Description
These richly illustrated art books cover several centuries of great artists and their masterworks. From Rubens to Dali, each artist's life and times, influences, legacy, and style are explored in depth. Each book analyzes a particular painting with regard to the history surrounding it, the techniques used to create it, and the hidden details that make up the whole, providing a thorough look at each artist's career. Included is a bibliography, a chronological reading of principle works, a brief life history, and listings of public collections featuring each artist. 
About the Author
Federico Zeri, an eminent art historian and critic, was vice president of the National Council for Cultural and Environmental Treasures and was decorated with the Legion of Honor by the French Government. He passed away in 1998.
 

Henri De Toulouse-Lautrec
by Patrick Bade, Nicholas Jude
Descendant of an old aristocratic French family dating back more than a 1000 years, Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901) spent most of his life among the Parisian demimonde, in the twilight of the fin-de-sicle Paris. Lautrec was not one of those mythmakers who doubted the reality of perception. This quality allowed him an astonishing ability to understand the conditions of the socially ostracized milieu, which enabled him to look behind the faade of a crumbling bourgeoisie civilization. The pompous gesture of a mime, a funny hair ribbon, the tired expression of a barman, or the luxurious arrangement of a feather boa fascinated Lautrec. Although women were at the center of Lautrec's interests, nudes only make sporadic appearances in his work.
 

Toulouse-Lautrec: The Soul of Montmartre (Pegasus Library)
by Reinhold Heller

Toulouse-Lautrec: Scenes of the Night (Discoveries)
by Claire Freches, et al
This compassionate narrative combines with reminiscences of the artist's friends to vividly evoke Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec's tragic, bohemian life. Sumptuous reproductions of paintings, prints, and drawings show why his artistic influence was so great. 227 illustrations, many in full color.

Alphonse Mucha: The Spirit of Art Nouveau -- by Victor Arwas, et al; Hardcover
Alphonse Mucha (1890-1939) was one of the most important decorative artists in Paris at the turn of the century. His sensual female portraits with their elaborate borders?le style Mucha?embody the essence of Art Nouveau. The Mucha family and the Mucha Foundation have put together a touring exhibition of Mucha's work, and this is the companion volume. Though numerous works on Mucha have appeared in the past few decades, none have been as exhaustive as this illustrated group of essays by noted European experts. The full-scale treatment covers paintings, decorative panels, pastels, drawings, photographs, jewelry, and advertisements as well as numerous book and magazine illustrations. The essays elucidate Mucha's political activities in Czechoslovakia, which spawned the enormous murals "The Slav Epic"; his association with the actress Sarah Bernhardt; and the impact of American patronage on his later work. This lavish homage may prove to be the most important study of an amazing and prolific artist. Highly recommended. Joseph C. Hewgley, Nashville P.L., Antioch

Book Description
This lavishly illustrated book presents the full spectrum of Alphonse Mucha`s works, from his innovative posters and decorative panels to his architectural designs, jewelry, sculpture, photographs, books, and interiors. The authors discuss Mucha`s years in Paris, his iconography of Sarah Bernhardt, his service to the Czech government, his distinctive style that became nearly synonymous with turn-of-the-century French Art Nouveau, and much more.

The Art Nouveau Style Book of Alphonse Mucha: All 72 Plates from "Documents Decoratifs" in Original Color -- by Alphonse Marie Mucha; Paperback
Among graphic artists and commercial designers, Alphonse Maria Mucha (1860-1939) is praised for his innovative style books that pioneered the use of Art Nouveau in commercial packaging, design, and ornament. The most important of these style books was DOCUMENTS DECORATIFS, published in 1901, and carefully reproduced here.

Drawings of Mucha: 70 Works -- by Alphonse Marie Mucha; Paperback

Alphonse Mucha by Don Kurtz, et al
USA Today Magazine, September 1997 
".... For those really into the pin-up scene, Collectors Press has produced a companion series ... called Vignettes... 
Playboy, March 1997 
"We're not the only ones who think pin-ups are one of the greatest art forms in American history." 
Reviewer's Bookwatch, An Official Newsletter of The Midwest Book Review, March 1997 
"The Collectors Press "Vignettes" series is a celebration of the American pin-up artist..." 
Book Description
Mucha's Byzantine beauties graced walls throughout Paris in the late 1890s. These romantic female figures were incredibly popular and forever changed the movement of art nouveau.

Posters of Jules Cheret: 46 Full-Color Plates & and Illustrated Catalogue Risonne
by Jules Cheret, Lucy Broido