Blog Archives

Advertising – Cigarettes

Instead of a cigarette, enjoy a small sampling from our chronological assortment of 1000’s cigarette ads, from the 1920’s till today, currently on display on the top shelf of the picture collection.






















Dress forms have been around for ages, with possibly the oldest one discovered in 1923 in King Tutankhamun’s tomb dating back to approximately 1350 B.C! What started as a basic and utilitarian human-like frame morphed through the ages from simple busts to elaborate European fashion dolls to the mannequins we see casually hanging out at store windows today. Not very casually actually, since they might actually be sizing you up for the powers that be.

Not surprisingly, these adjustable, modifiable  human stand-ins also ended up in many works of art. And more recently, like this unwed lady who responded to the pressures of having a family by simply going out and buying herself the perfect one. And then spending 14 years documenting their life together.

Or this mannequin-dancer-robot-monster. Wow, that eye contact.

Jordan Wolfson’s piece at David Zwirner Gallery


As you go through the folder, you can see window displays and how mannequins changed shape over the years, including some old and abandoned ones from a mannequin factory. You will also find pictures of their modern utilitarian versions – crash test dummies.

One of the highlights of this folder is a 7-page vintage 1920s catalog for a French mannequin maker. Each Flapper era mannequin is shown here in beautifully lit, black and white images.

Including the ones below, the Mannequins folder has a total of 38 items.





Cover for the The “Succes” Collection catalog by Mannequins Siegel Bruxelles



Right : Model No. 51001 – Imitation Wax



Middle : Google says it means “Remember that we submit a model at home”. Left : Model No. 51005 – Resistant to all temperatures Right : Model No. 51004 – Washable and easy to maintain



Left : Model No. 51002 – Make up does not alter in light. Right : Model No. 51003 – Google thinks it means “Resistant composition and unlimited duration”



Petrole Hahn, 1931 – Gelatin Silver Print – Photo by Ellen Auerbach and Grete Stern



Avenue de Gobelins, 1925 Gold-toned albumen print – Photo by Eugene Atget



Early window displays





Oh my, look how costly the US woman has to be.





Stare, Detroit Mannequin Factory – 1999





Top : Four Faces, Detroit Mannequin Factory – 1999. Bottom : Baby Faces And Hands, Detroit Mannequin Factory -1999



From “Modern Maturity” magazine – April/May 1978



Window display 1



Window display 2



Window display 3



“I prefer my pants just so” window display 4



Window display 5
















ADVERTISING – FOOD – 1862-1939

1862-1939 is our oldest subcategory of sustenance and taste sensation advertising. Thereafter the subdivisions are broken up by decade: 1940-1949, 1950-1959, 1960-1969, 1970-1979, 1980-1989, 1990-1999, 2000-2009, 2010-2019.

It is astonishing how text heavy ads from this time period were. Only the legalese of drug advertisements warnings have as much text these day. Our oldest food ad (it’s actually a  book that instructs you how to better grow food) from 1888:

From the Youth’s Companion, 1898, we have a  Quaker Oats ad that pre-dates the formation of the Quaker Oats company (which formed in 1901–until that time it was called the Quaker Mill Company). We also have an ad for Beardsley’s Shredded Codfish which leverages the abstentions of lent by letting the devout know that they can still indulge in a delightful dish of fish cream and fish balls.

Also from the Youth’s Companion, 1898, is this romantic little Wheat Germ ad:

I do not have exact dates for the following four ads, but I guess they are from approximately 1900.

“This four year old girl was raised entirely on Eskay’s food.” & “For Infants and Invalids.” This is so very sinister:

I am John Mackintosh the Toffee King, and just as the moon controls the tides, I control your children:

From 1901, this may be the ugliest ad that I have ever seen:

We have many Libby’s ad from different time periods. This one, from 1904, I believe is our oldest:

I remember deviled ham sandwiches (as if I were Joe Brainard). I didn’t care for them as a child, but I could really go for one right now. 1924:

1930’s (ca):

1930 era Pep cereal depicts the boy of the house usurping the man of the house (not pictured) to the great adoration of the woman of the house.

The bread diet, 1939!

And finally, also from 1939, a comic ad for All-Bran featuring “The Regulars” sharing a page with a fencing baby.

Magazine Covers — 1920-1929 (Part 2: Garten Schönheit)

This is a quick delve back into the 1920’s before I trundle into the 1940’s. It’s a perfect spring day in New York City, and so I feel compelled to share some of the Picture Collection’s loveliest pieces. We have all 12 months of Garten Schönheit from 1922. Each cover of this monthly magazine features a fantastic floral themed, late Art Nouveau illustration. Also, notice how from month to month, and season to season, the illustration behind the title changes, beginning with a brown root system in January, and progressing through color and leaf, flower and fruit. Enjoy.


Magazine Covers — 1920-1929

We continue our delve into our deep folders of Magazine Covers. It is ever so hard to pick just a few to show you from each decade, but I hope this sampling entices you to come in and see more in person. Please enjoy these richly illustrated gems!

La Science et la Vie started in 1913 and persists to this day (but is now just called Science & Vie). We have dozens of these—all richly printed with illustrations depicting all the wonderful possibilities of industry, technology, and all things grand through science! 

Illustrirte Zeitung was apparently Germany’s first illustrated magazine, published by J.J. Weber in Leipzig in 1843. As we learned from Steven Heller concerning “Das Plakat, Germany had a leg up on graphic design in the early 20th Century. You can also learn a bit more about Illustrirte Zeitung here.

Learn More about The Mentor.

We have several covers of Nature Magazine from the 1920’s. Vintage wildlife motifs, inspired by covers like these, have been very popular in home design for a number of years now, like in the work of John Derian.

I took this information from an auction website:

Shadowland, a magazine published in the late 1910s and 1920s, which billed itself as “Expressing the Arts”, and “The Magazine of Magazines”. Each issue had a variety of articles about various aspects of the arts, and each issue had at least one story dealing with movies. The articles were heavily illustrated with quality sepia photos by named photographers (who are credited next to the photos), and the entire magazine has a feel similar to that of “The New Yorker”, except of course that it solely focuses on the arts, and has many illustrations throughout. There are a few interior color pages in each issue and a few ads scattered through each issue. The magazine was published by the same people who published Motion Picture magazine. ( accessed 4/26/2011).

And lastly, Travel magazine, another title we have dozens of examples of from multiple decades. The printing color is exuberantly rich. Come to the Picture Collection and see more!