A very early postcard from Vancouver, Christmas, 1887. This card was sent with compliments from Johnston & Tyson.
May Christmas joys flow into your heart, and peace and happiness ever wait on your dear household.
via Neil Whaley at the Vancouver Postcard Club:
Shown [above] is a trade card from when the city was one year old and the population was only 2,000. The card was chromo-lithographed by Louis Prang of Boston, and overprinted with an 1887 Christmas greeting from Gastown clothiers AG Johnston and AM Tyson.
Johnston and Tyson were located briefly at 2 Carrall Street. According to the 1888 phone book, JC Johnston also had a boot and shoe store on Cordova Street; both JC and AG Johnston were listed with Johnston and Tyson, and the two Johnston’s lived on Westminster Avenue (Main Street). By 1892, AM Tyson had moved his gent’s furnishings store to 200 Carrall Street, and AG Johnston was working as a bookkeeper for John Scuitto on Powell Street.
The deadline for Christmas delivery of lettermail overseas has already past (that was Friday, December 6, 2013); this Friday is the deadline for USA; and cards to Canada can wait as late as December 17, 18, or 19, depending on how far it has to go. But don’t delay too much longer; everyone loves getting mail at Christmas!
Rob Roy Meats, Toban Shoes Columbia Street New West circa 1980’s by Won Kang.
This could conceivably be Vancouver, as there was no Lions Gate Bridge in 1925. I have to admit those mountains are pretty exaggerated though. Back then, standing on Little Mountain, gazing over to North Vancouver probably seemed much further away. All a matter of perspective, I suppose. One of the reasons I think this poster succeeds is because of its unrealistic, imagined depiction of the coast. The travel agent of the day could extol the merits of the Redwood forest, the Oregon coast, the mountains of Washington, the metropolis of Seattle, and of course, you mustn’t forget Vancouver! See this artwork for a remotely similar view by Ron Jackson.
The above poster was created by the Willmarths for the Newman-Monroe Company in Chicago. Jack R. Lundbom notes in the book Master Painter: Warner E. Sallman that Newman-Monroe Co. was a design and illustration firm, which at the time described (1909) was located in the First National Bank Building (now home to the Chase Tower Chicago). After further digging, I believe this would have been the neoclassical structure completed in 1902 by noted architect Daniel Burnham.
Here are a few more travel posters that Newman-Monroe produced, one promoting travel to California, and another to the Far West. Then there’s this majestic 1933 poster celebrating the World’s Fair in Chicago. If these posters are any indication, Newman-Monroe must have been a powerhouse, responsible for a significant amount of early transportation advertising. It makes me wonder what happened to them, and much of their legacy is actually known and remembered today.
About the Willmarths, streamlinermemories.info writes:
I can’t find much information about the Willmarths on line except that William was a watercolorist, while Kenneth specialized in oils. William was born in 1898 and died in Arizona in 1984. While the Travel by Train posters were signed “The Willmarths,” later posters and paintings were just signed “Willmarth,” and many look like watercolors, suggesting they were done by William Willmarth.
Like the Newman-Monroe story, more research into the life work of Kenneth and William Willmarth is warranted! Fantastic work, all around! May this blog post help to solidify their contributions to the art of travel.
Visit the Pacific Northwest Wonderland, circa 1925. New in Vintage Travel Posters. (via Visit the Pacific Northwest Wonderland | Vintagraph)
The Marine Building by Peter Ewart, sold via auction in December, 2012. This painting may have been one of those featured in the “Gallery of the Golden Key” exhibition from 1972:
The exhibition includes a number of Vancouver street and harbour scenes as well as several landscapes. All are treated with a strong sense of mood, and a keen appreciation of atmospheric effect.
If anyone knows who acquired this painting, please get in touch with the artist’s daughter, who maintains the website peterewart.ca.
With the lack of development around this iconic building, this is clearly an early depiction of the area; I’m not sure when those classic lamp posts were replaced either. Peter’s daughter Linda estimates the painting may be circa 1968.
Princess Pat, by David Hornblow, 1984. This hand-pulled serigraph was based on Waterfront images; a series of Vancouver civic banners. You can read the book Waterfront images: a distinguished collection of limited-edition, hand-pulled serigraphs based on the Vancouver civic banners in the Vancouver Archives.
The SS Princess Patricia II was built by Fairfield Co. Ltd., Glasgow, Scotland in 1949. It was retired from cruise service in 1978, but became a cruise ship hotel during Expo 86. This concept was also planned for the 2010 Olympics, but the Norwegian Star was not able to secure enough customers. Cruise Connections were negotiating to provide accommodations for security staff, but that contract fell through. Staff were put up in two ships from Carnival’s Holland America (the MS Statendam and MS Oosterdam) and one from Carnival Cruise Lines (the Carnival Elation).
This print was spotted in 1000 Parker during the latest Culture Crawl, and was offered by Harrison Art Services.
$1.49 Day / 1993 by Ken Pattern, drawn during the final year of the Woodward’s department store. Born in New Westminster, Ken Pattern began his fine art career in Vancouver with a show at the VPL in 1978. His curiosity of the world has taken him around the globe, and he currently lives and works in Indonesia, returning to Vancouver each year to print at the Malaspina Printmakers on Granville Island. I met Ken on the Island this summer, and he graciously gave me a viewing of some of his iconic lithographic prints. He also provided me with a superb artistic artifact from the 1980s - a VanCity calendar from 1985 which I am very much looking forward to featuring in future posts.
His latest show, ON MARINA BAY, opened at Galeri Hadiprana in Jakarta on November 23rd, 2013 and runs to January 4th, 2014.
Check out Epic Canadiana a new anthology series from Cloudscape Comics. It’s an ebook, only $3. It re-imagines Canadian heroes from the Golden Age by a bevy of talented BC comic creators. Here’s the book’s synopsis:
Thrill to the adventures of Canada’s greatest superheroes! The patriotic Johnny Canuck! The mythic Ikniqpalagaq! The enigmatic Loon! The disturbing Ghost-Woman! The activist Jacques de Canada! The mighty Energy Trader! The dynastic Nite-Flyer and Nitro-Girl! The roguish Gin! From Nazi-ravaged Arctic to modern Montreal to post-apocalyptic Vancouver, nine diverse heroes defend the country against a multitude of foes.
Published in 2013, this book features stories from Bevan Thomas, Cody Andreasen, Kamil Ginatulin, Ksenia Kozhevnikova, Shannon LeClerc, Andrew Macklin, Sydney Parent, Alexander Thomas, Colin Upton, Jayleen Weaver, Jeri Weaver, and Morgan Wolf with a cover byChenoa Gao and character files by such artists as Toren Atkinson, Jeff Ellis, Micah Iwaasa, Nina Matsumoto, Cameron Morris, and Jordan Stasuk.
A Souvenir Folder of Vancouver, a postcard printed by the Photogelatine Engraving Co. Limited, Ottawa, via ebay. This page mentions the firm operated from 1910-1953.
Vancouver’s Favourite Seasonal Sale Turns 40!
Emily Carr University of Art + Design invites you to join us at our 40th Student Art Sale! Choose from a wide selection of original paintings, photographs, prints, ceramics, sculpture, wearable works, housewares and more. This is a fantastic opportunity to purchase creations from Emily Carr’s up-and-coming artists and designers.
Get a jump on your holiday shopping, or take home a little something for yourself!
Concourse Gallery | North Building
Friday, November 22 12 - 8pm
Saturday, November 23 12 - 5pm
Sunday, November 24 12 - 5pm
Admission is free.