When we decided to put together this new blog of ours, we thought that one of the best ways to frame it (pardon the pun) was to give each month a theme, and to have the posts and posters fall – more or less – within that theme. As February is just around the corner, and as Valentine’s Day is – like it or not – an integral part of the month, we thought we’d get a head start and focus on Romance.
One of the posters that we have at the gallery that I think best illustrates ardor and passion is by the French artist Adolphe Willette. Entitled Enfins Seuls, it was produced for the French Government during World War I and depicts a man coming home from the front and finding his love at her sewing machine. Her joy and his passion are so clear and so well depicted. We had this poster once before – loved it then and I love it now.
HE’S NOT THAT INTO YOU
Ok, so the plot line of this movie revolved around the fact Rock Hudson’s favorite sport was fishing, and Paula Prentiss wanted his favorite sport to be her. The irony, of course, is that in real life, Mr. Hudson walked the other side of the street, as they say. A great poster for unrequited lovers, movie lovers, and anyone who loves Rock Hudson – and who doesn’t (Man’s Favorite Sport)
CRAZY, MADLY, DEEPLY
In 1895 Henri de Toulouse Lautrec took a few moments away from the bordellos and cabarets of Montmartre to create a portfolio of prints which includes this quirky and offbeat gem of a couple. ‘Shooting Stars’ (Etoiles Filantes) has a woman clinging to her escort while he looks (with his one good eye, or possibly his only eye) up at the sky. Wacky, brilliant and a definite conversation piece.
A WOMAN IS ONLY A WOMAN, BUT A GOOD CIGAR IS A SMOKE
Leave it to Rudyard Kipling to put down a woman while upgrading a cigar. If he had seen this poster, he would have known that this cigar – smoking woman was no woman, she was a dame. Glorifying both woman and cigars, Ludwig Hohlwein, the artist, shows his usual skill, grace, and appreciation of the weaker flesh (although truth be told, I’m not sure I’d like to meet this lady in a dark alley anytime soon). (Casa de Cigaros, Hohlwein)
LONG DISTANCE ROMANCE
The glamour of train travel and the romance of wide open spaces – I don’t know if I am more in love with the couple, the colors or the layout of this poster – OK, I’m not gonna pick: I LOVE IT ALL! Perfectly Art Deco, with eye-popping colors, great period typography and fashions…I think this is one of my current fave’s. (American Railway Express)