Monday, October 20, 2008

To Australia Via Suez Canal!

I was searching online for vintage posters the other day, when I discovered that the National Library of Australia has a fantastic online exhibition of Aussie travel posters from 1930 - 1950 called Follow The Sun. The works were commissioned by the newly created Australian National Tourism Association to encourage domestic tourism, but also to present an image of Australia to the world. The posters are easily on par with the designs that were being created by shipping lines, railways and tourism boards of other countries, and many of them combine an Aussie aesthetic with deco era sophistication.

Sydney Harbour without the highrises, or traffic snarls over the bridge! Rudey nudies advertising The British Empire Games!

The exhibition is nicely designed, with an interface that lets you browse by destination, iconography, style or artist. Fab! I've spent ages browsing through the posters and enjoying the variety of styles and snippets of info about the artists.

Having grown up in Adelaide these posters are kind of amusing to me, because the 'destinations' are now just a shortish ride by modern motor car from the city. Although they are both worth a visit!

After a bit of digging I discovered that the exhibition was actually mounted between November 1999 and February 2000. So I think it's great that they've kept it online as a resource. There's an exhaustive list of past exhibitions going back to the early 90s, many of which are links to online versions of the exhibitions. (Or you can skip straight to the online exhibitions page.)

I wouldn't mind hopping on a trans continental train and heading West right now! (The West has many handsome charms.) And if the journey could involve a cabin, a cocktail car, dressing for dinner and liveried cabin attendants...

I've foolishly never really thought of The National Library as great resources for visual arts, but it obviously is. It makes me think I should start searching the online library sites of other countries as well, not just art galleries! Meanwhile I have some (imaginary) trips to plan.


NannaPeter said...

They still have the cocktail car & gold level accommodation (or it's stated on the carriage as such), but liveried staff?? I doubt it & they are very absent when I see the Indie-Pacific going thru my town on a Sat morning. Rosie likes to wave at them on her morning sniffs & walk.

The Other Andrew said...

Who is going to turn down the bed and hand you a fine linen handtowel whilst shaving if there's no liveried staff??! Insane.

And by 'waving' I assume you mean Rosie barks her head off?... :)

james said...

Given your interest in homosexuals, vintage photography, and cruise ships this might also interest you.

I went to the exhibition while in Stockholm and enjoyed it a lot.

The Other Andrew said...

Ha, so I'm into cruising old guys... is that what you're saying? :)

Thanks for the link (and man, that's some url - I hope you retyped that). Fascinating!