A Century of Posters from Burkhard Sulzen
Blues music was generated in America, but the prophets who created it were rarely recognized in their homeland. It may have spawned rock 'n roll, but it never had the mainstream following of its descendant, that is to say, it never seriously reached white audiences. However, in the 1960s, European white youths, already fans of rock, became deeply interested in that music's roots. What they found were American blues musicians who had made their mark decades earlier. Their response was overwhelming. These musicians may never have been particularly welcomed in America, but they were great hits in Europe. From 1962-1970, the great living blues legends of America toured England and the Continent, participating in what was known as the American Folk Blues Festival. The main promoters were Germans Horst Lippmann and Fritz Rau, and they may have done more than just about anyone to bring these great but aging musicians the recognition they deserved. Their music became the progenitor of much of the British invasion music, the likes of the Beatles and Rolling Stones beginning their careers covering earlier American blues songs. Item 75 is a poster for the festival's appearance in Germany in 1964, and among the legends appearing that year were Lightnin' Hopkins, Howlin' Wolf, Willie Dixon, and Sonny Boy Williamson (who died the following year). €180 ($221).
I never really understood why this car didn't sell more in America. Item 99 is a circa late 1950s poster for Volkswagen's Karmann Ghia. The Ghia was essentially a Beetle on the inside, but on the outside it had the swift and attractive lines of a sports car. Sure, it wouldn't have won many checkered flags on the track. About the only car it could have held its own again was the underpowered Beetle, since mechanically it was the same. However, for a few hundred dollars more, instead of a dumpy Beetle, you could own this stylish automobile that looked like it could go a lot faster than it could. €580 (US $714).
Item 130 is a poster from another era, circa 1930, when the portrayal of different races and ethnicities could be something less than respectful. This is an advertisement for Abadie cigarette papers, a roll your own item. Shown are four different men enjoying their Abadie rolled cigarettes. Shown are an African, a Chinese man, and what are perhaps a Japanese and an Indian. They are stereotypical in the unflattering way of that age. €820 (US $1,010).
Political posters from 1930s Germany tend to be ugly, but this one from after the war might better be described as ridiculous. From the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) in 1952 this poster shows three fresh-faced youths (much like typically seen in Nazi propaganda), but these young people are admiring a portrait of Joseph Stalin. The message is Stalin Das Ist Der Frieden (Stalin This Is The Peace). Stalin was hardly the image of peace, but fortunately, the robust looking Stalin depicted was about as accurate as the message. Stalin was dying that year, and only after his death could the world slowly work its way toward East-West peace. Item 148. €280 (US $344).