Vintage Travel Posters 1920-1950


Exhibition at design gallery ZEITLOS – BERLIN from 13 October to 9 December 2012

As starting signal for the Design Mile, ZEITLOS – BERLIN in stilwerk presents Safety, Speed Comfort, early travel posters from two exquisite private collections. With its extensive collection of the period between the roaring Twenties and the unburdened Fifties, the Berlin design gallery provides the perfect frame for these precious icons of emerging tourism.

Still today, the motives of these advertisements for long distance journeys convey the new sensation of desire and longing for the exotic, and euphoria triggered by a new experience of accessibility of dream destinations out of reach so far. Also the contemporaries of the 21st century feel magically attracted by these impressive ocean liners, stylish fast trains, futurist zeppelins, and racy prop airliners. They radiate an everlasting fascination lifting the viewer from the daily routine into faraway and strange countries. The message of these posters releases a whole genre of films in our imagination which stand for zest for luxurious vehicles and remote destinations (e.g. Casablanca, Murder on the Orient Express, Death on the Nile). This new, mobile way of living had a strong influence on furniture design at the time: light steel tube constructions and exotic wood inlays ousted massive German oak, floating, subtle fabrics gleamed in lieu of dim, heavy velvet, aluminium and chrome flashed up where brass and silver had to be polished before.


Ludwig Hohlwein, 1912


Eduard Edler, 1923

But times have changed: While travelers moved in small and exclusive circles then, contemporaries have to mingle with endless streams of todayʼs mass tourism in our “all inclusive” era. The atmosphere of breathless break-up of the incipient long distance journeys with new, safe and fast vehicles had no notion yet of future problems with decreasing resources, toxic emissions and endangered native populations, species, and habitats.

Every single poster of this museum-like selection of approx. 40 exhibits from the private collections of Joachim Apitz and Marc Wegner presents a valuable document of the new possibilities in intercontinental traveling. They are also authentic reflections of their actual Zeitgeist, fashions, and styles of which ZEITLOS – BERLIN presents objects such as deck chairs, armchairs, tables, bookshelves, lamps, etc. As a particular highlight, a rare souvenir of the Titanic recalls the tragic accident after which safety standards in traveling were to be radically changed.

A catalogue will be published.
The exhibition runs until 9 December 2012.


Brignola, 1924


Bruno Grimmer, 1929


Henry Ehlers, 1931


Hermann Schneider, Berlin Friedenau, 1936


Theodor Etbauer, ca. 1930


Otto Arpke, 1931


Theodor Etbauer, 1927


Ottomar Anton, 1937


Albert Fuss, ca. 1930


A. Di Vece, ca. 1938


Edmond Maurus, 1947


anonym, ca. 1950


Albert Fuss, 1936


Aage Rasmussen, 1937


Aage Rasmussen, 1951


Frank Soltesz, 1946


Hans Rudi Erdt, ca. 1910


Ludwig Hohlwein, 1912


Maria Papaefstathiou

VISUAL DESIGNER since 1996 and blogger since 2010. Living in Athens, Greece. She has been focusing her research on poster design and particularly on social poster design and portrait design. Her main poster project is a series of posters celebrating great personalities of traditional and popular culture in Greece and Jamaica. These include actors, singers, musicians, poets etc. This is an ongoing project. “I believe that design is a powerful tool that we designers can use to spark enthusiasm, change mindsets and bring positive actions to our world and our culture”. FOUNDER AND EDITOR OF GRAPHICART-NEWS.COM BLOG. She carefully curates high-quality designs, illustrations, and art, from all over the world that will teach and provoke other designers. Many consider her blog to be an exceptional educational tool. CO-FOUNDER OF THE INTERNATIONAL REGGAE POSTER CONTEST which was launched on December 2011, partnering, the creative activist Michael Thompson aka Freestylee. (

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