Hello Poster Romance readers, Amanda here. You may have seen my name in a couple of Karen’s posts; I am one of her new employees, having started working at l’Affichiste in February. I am new to poster land, but let me assure you, the moment I walked into the gallery, it was love at first sight. Perhaps my background and current studies in art-history make me especially susceptible to falling in love with these documents, but I think that it is safe to say that anyone who gets a chance to see these posters up close and personal is bound to find something that catches their eye and stirs up their imagination. A couple posters seem to have found their way into my heart, and it would be my pleasure to share them with you here.
My number one pick is the 1924 Chemin de Fer du Nord by Urbain and Delecourt. I suspect that my admiration of this poster is explicitly related to my own research and love affair with cartography. Currently working on a MA in art history, my research explores the relationship between cartography and colonization focusing on New France (Quebec) between the 16th and 18th centuries. Thus, all things relating to maps and globalization pique my interest. This poster is advertising the French railway system through Dunkerque, emphasizing their connectivity to other important port cities across the globe and the efficacy of French industry and trade. Dunkerque was, and remains today, an important port city due to its proximity to Amsterdam, London, Brussels and Luxembourg.
Second place goes to Posta Aerea, a 1932 advertisement from Il Popolo d’Italia, an Italian magazine founded in 1914 filled with articles, gossip pieces and naturally, beautifully illustrated advertisements. This one features the Italian air mail service.
Third is Colis Postal, a 1928 French mail service poster. This poster is done in a style that is typically Art Deco, with a black background and colorful elements in the foreground meant to be the focus of the advertisement. What I find to be so amusing here is that the postal service is being given the same treatment as an ad for cigarettes or alcohol. We take it for granted today, but the integration of an efficient postal service around the world was an incredible feat.
You may be seeing some common themes in my favorite posters; exploration, globalization and the dispersion of peoples and information around the world. These posters are documents of social history, and are important factors to consider within broader narratives. Unlike artwork or books, which may have had limited audiences, posters would have been experienced by all and underestimating their influence would be a grave mistake. I hope that these posters have caught your interest, as they have mine, and that they inspire you to embark on your own research investigations. Until next time! -Amanda