20th Century Posters
And Vintage Works On Paper
This gorgeous huge poster was done by William Steig as part of an ad campaign for Shell Oil in 1944. It's a lithograph, linen backed, in excellent condition. Steig was famous as cartoonist, New Yorker cover artist, author of books for adults and children. Dr. Desoto, Sylvester and the Magic Pebble and Shrek are among his most famous. He also, reluctantly, sometimes made art for advertising.
Along with the poster we have a series of postcards by Steig from the same Shell Oil Campaign, as well as a few old New Yorker Covers, some of his older books and the doll that eveyone wants to hold, Poor Pitiful Pearl, which Steig created.
This is one of a series of postcards by Steig for Shell Oil.
Steig also created the doll, Poor Pitiful Pearl. You can see in this composite photo how similar the doll is to the poster illustration. Not to scale.
"I would never have drawn my sword in the cause of America if I could have conceived thereby that I was founding a land of slavery." LaFayette
We have a rather large collection of Chromolithographs by Mary Louise Spoor. These were published in 1917 as schoolroom posters, and lucky indeed were the children who sat with these to stare at.
Burlington's industrial history includes names many of us are familiar with, and some that are no longer in our memories. Diamond Dyes was a brand of dye for clothing manufactured by Wells, Richardson & Co. Their headquarters was on College Street in the beautiful building that now houses Bennington Potters.
Wells & Richardson made Diamond Dyes as well as ink and patent medicines. Their chromolithograph trade cards, given out by the thousands by their retailers and and in their packaging, retain their vibrant colors to this day, over a hundred years later.
Maltex made breakfast cereals. The original Maltex building is right across the street from where Pine Street Art works stands today.
Maltex made Maypo. In 1956 the Maltex company was bought out by Heublein,Inc. and the new owners needed business losses to offset gains. They hired Faith and John Hubley (creators of Mr. Magoo and zillions of other amazing animated cartoons ) to do their TV ads. Faith Hubely writes:
"They didn't want it to be successful, which is why they hired us. They were a liquor company; they made mixers for drinks or something like that. Maybe vodka. I don't remember, but whatever it was, they bought the Maypo company to overset their profits. So they asked us to make an anti-commercial, where the child hates the product. I don't think that's ever happened before. It's like Christmas in July, and it's just terribly funny. So we finished it and gave it to them, and we were well-paid. We had a contract you wouldn't believe. We owned everything, we had all the rights, and, because we had used our son [Mark], they couldn't do any advertising without our permission. So the damn thing takes off, and they are fit to be tied! They had to keep making more. They tried to make the product taste better: It was a healthy cereal, and they wanted to add sugar coating. It was unstoppable. So much for advertising. When people try to make things to sell, it ain't necessarily so. But if you make something out of truth...
I don't have any Markie Maypo images in the exhibit, but I thought the history would amuse you.
Vermont Maid syrup was famous for NOT being made of maple syrup, even though it was made in Vermont. The factory building now houses Burlington Futon, on Pine Street. Many Burlingtonians still have memories of the days when the factory was in production. At Burlington Futon they uncovered some original labels stuck onto the beams. If you go in, ask them to show you.
Many of their ads feature Vermont scenes.
Here I guess they seem to be invoking the holy trinity of cowboy-flapjack-syrup.