also explains the vital, but often-overlooked importance of war gardens during the first World War.” Penfield’s poster for the War Garden Commission, itself a remarkable volunteer effort, is one of the best of World War I. Roughly 5 million war gardens, now called victory gardens, fed United States citizens during the conflict, while committing massive shipments to aid beleaguered allies in Europe.
Another favorite is Walter Herz’s 1948 poster for Pan Am, advertising travel to the summer Olympic Games in London. The poster tells a rich and timely story. In 1939, the Olympics were awarded to London for the 50th anniversary of the Games (to be held in 1944), but were cancelled due to World War II. After the War, London was chosen to host the Games in 1948 despite wartime damage and the strict austerity of its postwar economy. Herz’s design paints a picture of a prosperous and celebratory London, combining the symbolism of the ancient games in the classical Greek sculpture of Discobolus with the five interlocking rings of the Modern Games. “This is one of the most historically relevant and significant Olympics posters we have in our inventory,” comments Natalie Polito. “The so-called ‘Austerity Games’ of 1948 were hugely successful and were the first ever to be televised. Also, thanks to the advent of affordable passenger air travel, for the first time, American’s could fly across the Atlantic to attend.”
In addition to gallery shows and special exhibitions, IPG’s award-winning website, www.internationalposter.com offers one of the largest, most comprehensive online collection of vintage advertising posters in the world. Originally launched in 1998, the site contains nearly 5000 images accessible through a powerful search engine.
Editor’s Note: • Background and additional digital color images available.
• Interviews with gallery owner Jim Lapides are encouraged.