Friday, April 11, 2014

Two Great Typewriter Posters From 1909

by Stephen J. Gertz

Paul Scheurich, 1909.

A copy of Paul Scheurich's 1909 poster for Oliver typewriters is being offered by Swann Auction Galleries in its Modernist Posters sale, April 24, 2014. It is estimated to sell for $800-$1,200.

Printed by the renowned Berlin shop, Hollerbaum & Schmidt, which, in the years before World War I, was known not only for the quality of its lithography but for its impressive stable of artists, including Lucian Bernhardt, Hans Rudi Erdt and Julius Klinger, as well.

Scheurich (1883-1945) was born and raised in New York City but settled in Germany to work. A painter, sculptor and prolific graphic designer, he was a professor of porcelain painting in Meissenand and worked in Dresden as a graphic designer before moving to Berlin.

Much like his fellow artists, Scheurich's style was heavily influenced by contemporary British graphic design, which emphasized flat tones and no outlining. That is certainly the case in this Sachs Plakat (Object Poster), in which the object being advertised is depicted against a flat background as Lucian Bernhard did in his series of posters for Adler typewriters.

Lucian Bernhard, 1909.

"Bernhard recognized that the image of the typewriter itself, with its potential for speed and efficiency, was an effective way to advertise the product.  This poster, the first of several that Bernhard designed for the Adler company, embodies the simplicity of the Sachplakat while maintaining certain elements of the same late nineteenth century graphic style that overpowered and inspired Bernhard as an adolescent, such as the bold, flat planes of color and the shadow line that emphasizes the curving forms of the letters" (Caitlin Condell, Seduced by an Object Poster).
Caitlin Condell
Caitlin Condell

Note, however, that Bernhard's seminal poster for Adler typewriters was, as Scheurich's for Oliver typewriters, also designed in 1909. According to Nicholas D. Lowry of Swann, it is impossible to determine which image influenced the other.

Oliver image courtesy of Swann Auction Galleries, with our thanks.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Subscribe to BOOKTRYST by Email