Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Vintage galore this summer...

We have vintage toys on display, vintage fashion photographs, and today I've just put up a small show of vintage travel posters. Although the travel and war posters in our vaults are not part of the official art collection, they've been part of the museum's history since the very beginning. Ella Bradley, the museum's first director and librarian, collected advertising and war posters and, according to legend, stored them under an Oriental rug in her office. In the late 1990s, Museum staff called on experts in vintage posters to help us decide which to keep, frame, and exhibit. That project resulted in the retention of 60+ high-quality vintage posters. We occasionally exhibit them here, and sometimes send them out on loan to other organizations.

Since we had some room left over in the Lower Level Galleries after installing the Vintage Toys and Games show, I went ahead and selected twenty travel posters to hang in the Lecture Hall. Of those, four are posters for travel to the Mississippi Gulf Coast via Illinois Central Railroad. These have never been exhibited at the Museum, having been unframed until a year or so ago. Two feature golfers, and two feature horseback riders. The styles of the posters range from illustration-style to Art Deco to somewhat Cubist, and locations from Biloxi to Germany.

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