“Titans of the Sea” Extended at International Poster Gallery
The show features posters for major lines such as Cunard, White Star, French Line, and many others. The most notable addition is surely a poster for United States Lines by one of the most renowned artists in the genre, A.M. Cassandre (1901-1968). Cassandre is known for his bold Art Deco aesthetic and harmonious combinations of typography and graphic elements. The poster is notable in that it does not depict in any way the hull or features of any specific ship, a common design convention of the time. Instead, Cassandre utilizes a bold, patriotic color palette of red, white and blue to highlight a single feature of the ship: its towering smokestacks. Ocean Liner smokestacks were an instantly recognizable symbol of power and dependability, making this poster a classic in the genre. A little-known fact is that some ocean liner companies added extra fake smokestacks to their ships to make them look more powerful and less sinkable. The practice was directed primarily at countering the superstitions of steerage passengers, on which many liners relied for the bulk of their profits.
Further additions to the show include a serene 1914 poster for Cunard with a female passenger gazing across a pristine seascape; a 1929 design for the Panama Pacific Line, touting “The Largest Ships to and from California”; a 1935 poster by noted German artist Jupp Wiertz (1888-1939) in neon green and yellow inviting travelers to take “A Pleasant Trip to Germany” aboard a liner, plane or zeppelin; and a fashionable 1954 Mid-Century modern style poster by Rene Gruau (1909-2004) featuring a woman sun-bathing in profile on a deck chair, accompanied by the simple directive – “Relax…”.
Editor’s Note: • Background and additional digital color images available.
• Interviews with gallery owner Jim Lapides are encouraged.
• Parking available for media guests.
A book detailing the entire ocean liner collection is available through the gallery. In addition to hosting numerous gallery shows and special exhibitions, IPG’s award-winning website, www.internationalposter.com offers one of the largest, most comprehensive online collection of vintage advertising posters in the world. Originally launched in 1998, the site contains nearly 5000 images accessible through a powerful search engine.
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