Travel Posters
Boundless options for fascinating getaways

This year, our travel posters span the Earth: sun-bathing on the Amalfi Coast and the Italian Riviera, winters in Davos and the North Pole, city-slicking in NYC and LA, and natural splendor in Scotland, Africa, and Australia—plus premiere golfing at the historic and beloved St. Andrews.

122. American Airlines to New York.  ca. 1950.
Artist: Weimer Pursell (1906-1974)
29 7/8 x 40 in./75.8 x 101.7 cm
Est: $1,700-$2,000

Rather than depicting an airplane within view, Purcell has us imagine that we are soaring around Manhattan, hovering over the Hudson River, and taking in all the frenetic, awe-inspiring wonder that is New York. His graphic brilliance lends an almost vibrating quality to the scene—and note the calculated placement of the buildings and rising steam that perfectly frame his “New York” text. Pursell was born in Tennessee and studied at the Art Institute of Chicago. He started as an illustrator for Life, Esquire, Forbes, and other publications. In posters, he produced some of the finest American Art Deco designs for Coca-Cola, American Airlines, Standard Oil, the Chicago World’s Fair, and others, but his work is extremely difficult to find today.

243. Brides les Bains. 1929.
Artist: Leon Benigni (1892-1948)
24 1/2 x 39 3/8 in./62.2 x 100 cm
Est: $2,500-$3,000

This handsome Art Deco design shows off the fashionable sporting life of Brides-les-Bains, a spa town in the Rhône-Alpes region of France—”the station of the elegant woman.”

248. National Hotel Cairo.  ca. 1905.
Artist: Mario Borgoni (1869-1936)
36 1/2 x 53 3/4 in./92.7 x 136.5 cm
Est: $4,500-$5,000

Borgoni’s dreamlike design promotes the newly opened National Hotel Cairo. It was the biggest hotel in the city, accommodating 250 guests. They marketed the opening wisely by employing Richter & Co., who created artwork for top hotels around the world; Borgoni’s colorful sunset scene is certainly seductive. Rare!

256. Sports d’Hiver dans les Vosges.  ca. 1930.
Artist: Roger Broders (1883-1953)
24 3/4 x 39 3/8 in./62.8 x 100 cm
Est: $5,000-$6,000

This rail poster with the schussing skier in the foreground proves there is life and fun to be found amid the frozen stillness of the mountains in wintertime. The Vosges is the mountain range in eastern France that forms a majestic backdrop for the Rhine’s western bank, with the Black Forest range providing the same sort of scenery for the eastern German side. This is probably one of the best—and surely one of the rarest—of all the Broders creations for the French railways.

280. Italia. 1936.
Artist: A. M. Cassandre (Adolphe Mouron, 1901-1968)
24 x 39 1/4 in./61 x 99.6 cm
Est: $2,500-$3,000

Cassandre designed this and two other Italian tourism posters during a working summer holiday on the shore of Lake Maggiore in northern Italy. The Mussolini regime had passed a law banning Italian companies from commissioning French artists; to get around it, Cassandre’s future publisher in Italy, Augusto Coen, invited him to work in Italy. Savignac, then Cassandre’s assistant, loyally accompanied him and collaborated on the three posters. Though the style was a dead giveaway, Cassandre had to play along with the charade and use the monogram “A.M.C.” to conceal his French name. This particular creation centers on a montage of sports and recreational objects against a panorama of Italian topography. From the cobalt-blue Adriatic to the azure of the sky over the Alps, the entire scene is expressed with extreme graphic economy. This particular version of the poster excludes the bottom two text lines that mention that Italy has the field for every sport in their beautiful country, allowing Cassandre’s masterful graphics to convey that message all by themselves.

323. Pennsylvania Railroad / Atlantic City.  ca. 1935.
Artist: Edward M. Eggleston (1887-1941)
24 3/4 x 39 3/4 in./63 x 101.2 cm
Est: $7,000-$9,000

Now that’s a bathing suit! This fresh windswept beach-blonde is a knockout introduction to Atlantic City right around the city’s heyday as the Boardwalk Empire in the 30s. There’s nary a Pennsylvania Railroad in sight, but there’s no doubt this ad was a head-turner—and remains so today.

332. St. Andrews : Maquette. 1925.
Artist: Henry George Gawthorn (1879-1941)
49 3/4 x 39 1/2 in./126.5 x 100.3 cm
Est: $14,000-$17,000

“… possibly the most famous place in Scotland, and certainly for sports fans. St. Andrews is world famous for its golf: indeed, it is the home of golf, with the Royal and Ancient (Golf Club) dominating this part of the country. The ancient university City of St. Andrews lies at the extreme end of the Fife peninsula, where the North Sea washes a rocky headland flanked by sandy bays housing the most famous golf course in the world” (Furness, p. 56-57). In Gawthorn’s lush maquette, stylish male and female golfers take to the green; bathers tan on the rocky outcrops; and, in the distance, the university towers majestically.

350. St. Andrews.  ca. 1925.
Artist: Reginald Edward Higgins (1877-1933)
49 x 39 in./124.5 x 99.2 cm
Est: $12,000-$15,000

“A beautiful illustration for the venerable course where it officially all began: St. Andrews. The Old Course is the most famous; there are other courses where golfers from all over the world can play to their heart’s delight on the sacred grass. The Old Course is open to the general public. However it is so popular that you have to reserve months ahead or put yourself on a waiting list on the spot and wait for your turn. St. Andrews boasts a golf museum and one of the oldest universities in the British Isles” (Golf, p. 47). It’s a divine Art Deco design—and rare!

360. Mürren. 1931.
Artist: Paul Lecomte (1877-1950)
25 5/8 x 40 in./65.2 x 101.6 cm
Est: $4,000-$5,000

Lecomte presents the icy mountains of Mürren, home of the Kandahar Ski Club. The brooding dark sky is perfectly contrasted with the raspberry pink spray of snow that follows our intrepid skier down the geometric plane of the mountain.

364. Cabourg / à 5 heurs de Paris. 1896.
Artist: Privat Livemont (1861-1936)
42 3/8 x 29 5/8 in./107.7 x 75.2 cm
Est: $2,700-$3,000

Created to lure Parisians away from the city and travel a mere five hours by train to the seaside resort of Cabourg, this poster serves as one of Livemont’s most realistically evocative images. With the skyline of the town being kissed by sunset on the horizon, a brazen strawberry blond wades chest-deep in the ocean, while a gaggle of eager male suitors hover at close range. In the lower left, her hand is reaching beyond the border of the poster as if she could at any moment leap off the page toward us.

503. Australia / Tallest Trees.  ca. 1936.
Artist: Percy Trompf (1902-1964)
25 x 40 1/8 in./63.5 x 102 cm
Est: $1,700-$2,000

In terms of his work for the Australian National Travel Association, Trompf was something of their arboreal go-to guy—for example, his poster for North Queensland (see PAI-XXXVII, 534) is a lush rain forest tapestry. Here, in a promotion for Marysville, Victoria, he focuses on the “Tallest Trees in the British Empire”—the old growth Beech forests in the upper Taggerty catchment. Marysville—whose population hovers around a total of 500 residents—relies heavily on tourism for its economic prosperity and employment. Trompf studied at the Ballarat Technical Art School before relocating to Melbourne in 1923, where he established his reputation as a freelance artist specializing in posters before opening his own design studio. The Australian landscape and wildlife directly influenced his output. By the 1930s, Trompf’s brightly-colored posters were well known in Australia and his work had attracted attention in both Britain and North America.

517. New York / Pennsylvania Railroad.
Artist: Harley Wood
25 1/4 x 40 3/8 in./64.2 x 102.6 cm
Est: $8,000-$10,000

If you’ve never had the pleasure of going up to the Empire State Building’s observation deck, then Wood’s design is a grand substitute (though you really should go). He captures the sense of wonder at seeing New York sprawling endlessly as the evening sky gradually turns from peach to blue velvet—and the city lights below swell in response. And the couple, with their Old Hollywood charm, really seal the deal.

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In-gallery viewing October 11 to 26 (daily 11am-6pm)

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