News-Antique.com - May 23,2013 - BOSTON – Wanderlust is the theme of International Poster Gallery’s 21st annual Summer Show, “That’s Amore: Travel Posters to Love”. The core of the exhibition traces the fascinating development of travel to Italy, the “Sunny Boot of Europe,” from the rise of railroad travel in the 1890s to the 1960s. Featuring more than 100 original vintage travel posters, the exhibition will be rounded out by a select group of fine posters from every continent. “That’s Amore” opens June 11 and runs through September 2, 2013. Gallery hours are Monday through Saturday 10 am to 6 pm and Sunday noon to 6 pm. The Gallery is located at 205 Newbury Street in Boston. Call (617) 375-0076 or visit www.internationalposter.com for information.
Initially, only the wealthy could afford the time and expense to go to Italy, which had grown in popularity in the Middle Ages as an important pilgrimage destination, and later for its cultural and natural wonders. This changed with the rise of the railroads and the completion of massive tunnel projects through the Alps at the end of the 19th century. The show opens with Al Lago Maggiore, a 1906 poster highlighting the recent completion of the Simplon Tunnel, which provided a direct train route from Paris to Milan with glorious views of the Italian Lake Region along the way. Tourism, much delayed in Italy, was finally in order.
These first Italian travel posters were produced by the railroads, like Al Lago Maggiore, but a second wave began in 1919 with the birth of the Italian National Tourist Bureau (ENIT). This government sponsored agency commissioned numerous posters to promote Italy’s world-class tourist destinations. In addition to their efforts, faster rail and ocean liners, the rise of a vibrant ex-pat population, and the explosive Roaring Twenties economy caused Italian tourism to blossom. A fine example, Venedig und Lido circa 1925, by Vittorio Grassi, is a dreamy poster promoting Venice and its Lido beaches, published in several languages including German.
The Thirties were a time of challenge, as the Depression and international tensions threatened the tourism industry. Mussolini redoubled efforts to attract tourists. ENIT commissioned fine artists such as AM Cassandre, Marcllo Dudovich and Marcello Nizzoli to promote Italian cultural attractions. The show includes a rare 1930 ocean liner poster by Giuseppe Riccobaldi, Navigazione Generale Italiana, one of three companies that merged into Mussolini’s Italian Line two years later.
Shrewd marketers for Italian hotels and ocean liners harnessed the power of the growing tourism industry with luggage labels, considered one of the earliest forms of viral marketing. The gallery is offering a special selection of these beautifully designed and printed labels, many produced by the famed Neapolitan printing house of Richter, including designs by Mario Borgoni and J. Pashal.
The revival of travel after World War II developed slowly. The Italian postwar economic “miracle” once again made Italy a leading destination. Fellini’s classic film La Dolce Vita and Italian fashion positioned Italy as a land of style and beauty, which was successfully