Monday, May 24, 2010

Vintage Poster Fun

In mid-March, my family visited the annual International Vintage Poster Fair at the Chicago Cultural Center.  It was a remarkable show featuring 30 dealers of the highest-quality vintage posters from all over the world, and we will definitely be going back.  The fair takes place in three cities annually - New York, San Francisco, and Chicago.  Here's a link to the fair's list of dealers with some images of the types of posters available.

Each year, the fair highlights a different sub-genre of vintage posters (but not to the exclusion of all the other categories.)  It could be travel, gastronomy...  This year's theme was military posters.  You might immediately think of recruitment posters (some vendors had the original "Uncle Sam wants you" poster) or WWII propaganda campaigns with messages like "loose lips sink ships" or things to that effect, but there was actually a whole universe of military posters with messages we hadn't thought of - a key motif in the American posters was a plea to citizens to use cooking methods that conserved oil, so steam or roast your food.   

Most of the dealers had stacks upon stacks of linen-backed posters that they would flip through for you (the posters are mostly very large and delicate, dating from the early part of the 20th century when printing and advertising became sophisticated enough for this genre to develop, so touching by customers is mostly frowned upon.)  The posters are linen-backed to prevent the paper from tearing, although it is not absolutely crucial for framing unless the poster is so large that it is printed in multiple panels and needs to be secured together prior to framing.

One Swiss dealer had binders full of reduced postcard-sized representations of his inventory, and we flipped through to see if anything caught our eye.  We fell in love with an advertisement for Knorr chicken soup and decided to buy it.  It had to be shipped from Switzerland after the dealer arrived home from the show, and then it ended up arriving in multiple panels to our surprise (we thought the tube looked too small for the size that had been promised to us, and when we opened it at the frame shop to see the poster itself, we realized that it was indeed in two pieces.) 

After having it backed and framed, we had it professionally hung in our tall atrium.  The finished piece is 49"W x 69" tall - gigantic!  It makes a great whimsical addition to what was a plain gray brick wall.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Check out Another Post on Rex Ray

Head on over to the Ritz Residences' "Simply Magnificent" Blog to check out my latest post about Rex Ray.  After seeing more of his work at the Art Chicago show last weekend, I had to share.