Rare Travel Posters from the Land Down Under!
March 10 through April 30, 2004
Vintage travel posters are featured in this visual tour of the world's most exotic destinations, which includes more than 100 original rarities from Australia, New Zealand Africa, Bali, the Arctic Circle, Soviet Union, and more from every continent.
Travel posters are the most popular area of poster collecting, and "G'Day Mate!" delivers with exotic and unusual posters from near and far. Most date from the Twenties and Thirties, when intercontinental travel became more safe, comfortable, and speedy. Tourism was a natural outgrowth of the needs of the great European empires to stay connected with their colonies; mail delivery and commerce lead to the development of better transport and exploration of frontiers.
The show includes several poster route maps for KLM, Air France and, Imperial Airways, which graphically reveal the proliferation of empire-oriented routes from Europe to every continent by the Thirties. For example, the Amsterdam to Dutch East Indies route was a 14 Day trip by KLM in the Twenties; by 1931 the route became weekly.
The core of the show is a rarely seen group of travel posters from Australia and New Zealand. With the advent of long range Flying Clippers in the mid-Thirties, it became much more feasible for tourists to reach the region. In Australia, the newly formed Australian National Travel Association (ANTA) ushered in a golden age of advertising, hiring world class artists such as Percy Trompf, Gert Selheim, and James Northfield to reveal the huge continent's splendors. The advertising focused on the uniqueness of Australia; its flowers, animals, native culture and natural wonders. Trompf's classic Great Barrier Coral Reef of 1933 cleverly depicts a serene boat scene above water while displaying a dazzling technicolor world below it teeming with life. Another classic by Tom Purvis, the leading British posterist, beckons the viewer to Sydney Harbor for the nation's 150th Anniversary in 1938 (see top of page). The show has four fine and exceedingly rare travel posters for Tasmania, which is advertised as the "Switzerland of the South."
A similar approach was taken in New Zealand, where the natural wonders of Milford Sound and Mt. Cook were touted in travel posters created for the New Zealand travel board in the Thirties.
The exotic theme of this show continues with several early transportation posters. Included are several first-rank posters by Albert Fuss and Otto Anton for the Hamburg Lloyd shipping company displaying its routes to Norway's Arctic Circle and Egypt. The show also contains more than a dozen transportation posters for the Southern and Northern Pacific Railroads that feature the newly created National Parks and other tourist highlights. In the early Twenties, The American West, hardly considered exotic today, was a vast frontier unknown even to most Americans.
The exhibition concludes with a smorgasbord of travel posters from Ceylon, India, Russia, Poland, Bali, Egypt, as well as several famous transportation posters for Cunard, Pan Am, and Imperial Airways.
View all Travel Posters
View all Transportation Posters