“Let me tell you what I think of bicycling. I think it has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world. It gives women a feeling of freedom and self-reliance. I stand and rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a wheel… the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood.”
– Susan B. Anthony
35 1/2 x 51 in./90 x 129.6 cm
Bottini was a painter, designer and illustrator who had much in common with Lautrec, his contemporary, who influenced his style enormously. Bottini is primarily interested in setting the mood – high fashion and high living – with the aid of a bicycle. Although he was heavily involved as a painter, working largely in water-colors, and as a printmaker, largely with woodblock engravings, this is Bottini’s sole poster.
42 3/4 x 62 7/8 in./108.6 x 159.8 cm
Ramsdell studied at the Art Students League of New York, then left for Paris, where his work was shown at the Paris Salon between 1891 and 1898. This was the sweet spot for the French advertising poster, of course, and especially the work of Eugene Grasset, whose style Ramsdell appropriates in spectacular style.
54 5/8 x 76 7/8 in./138.7 x 195.3 cm
It’s one of the most famous posters in the world: often copied, often poorly. This is the original – in the original large format of the design – and this one, in particular, has vibrant coloration and exquisite detail that we rarely see. (Note our Valkyrie’s chain-mail miniskirt, with textured rings and metallic shimmer.) Pal’s triumph here is the culmination of the “Bicycle Craze” of the 1890s, which indeed delivered liberation for female riders and sparked the modern women’s rights movement. This is the original large format of the design.
47 3/8 x 63 1/4 in./120.2 x 160.7 cm
Does this clever girl have super-strength? No, it’s just the ingenious design of the Rudge-Whitworth cycle, the “lightest and most durable” cycle on the market. Here, H. Gray is continuing a long visual narrative for Whitworth Cycles created by Pal and others – a story of flirtation and competition between the genders, which plays out along the same stretch of brick wall. H. Gray’s contribution, after the merger of the Rudge and Whitworth companies, seizes on the bicycle’s role in advancing women’s freedoms, and creates a deft illustration of the new generation – of both women and bicycles – as the 20th century rides out from the 19th.
44 3/4 x 60 1/2 in./113.5 x 153.8 cm
Courchinoux designed his posters with a uniform sensibility of grandeur: a flourish, an epic perspective, and a voila! That impact is undeniable for this white-hot exposure of Cycles Météore, a French brand during the 1920s.
27 1/2 x 39 1/2 in./69.7 x 100.5 cm
Svanlund had a remarkable, lifelong career as a major Swedish artist, evolving from Symbolism to Cubism to abstract expressionism with works now hanging at the Modern Museum in Stockholm, the Mälmo Museum and the Institut Tessin in Paris. He began with study in advertising in Berlin in 1928, and Paris 1929 to 1931, making this masterpiece of commercial art one of the earliest in his career. Trelleborg was founded in 1905 as a rubber company; it now is a global engineering group focused on advanced polymer technology. Rare!
21 7/8 x 37 1/8 in./55.6 x 94.4 cm
A blazing blurred speed-demon of a motorcycle rider will certainly put the caffeine into your morning coffee; it’s a signifier of the 21 world records Auto-Union DKW has amassed in motorbike speed tests. If that logo looks familiar, it shouldn’t be surprising: Auto-Union is the precursor of Audi, and the four rings represent the four companies that merged in order to form Auto-Union. The Audi brand was essentially relaunched when Volkswagen bought Auto-Union from Daimler-Benz in the ’60s.