William P. Welsh, ‘Pullman / Vacation Lands Are Calling’, 1936, Rennert’s Gallery

The famous Pullman Company built elegant sleeper cars for American railroads and put virtually the entire nation just a night's rest away from travelers' destinations. Pullman's VP, James Kelly, had long been fascinated by European travel posters, and commissioned Chicago artist William P. Welsh for a dozen poster designs, intending to promote Pullman's safety record and comfort. "Welsh had studied at the Academie Julien in Paris and had made a name for himself painting the mural decorations of the Chicago Room of that city's famed Palmer House... As Pullman operated only a handful of streamlined cars, Welsh chose instead to feature its patrons: stylish women whom he posed in serene outdoor settings. He bathed his subjects in brilliant color and rendered their surroundings in Art-Deco designed patterns... Welsh's campaign won widespread public recognition and several design awards" (Travel by Train, p. 109). They remain some of the most brilliant evocations of 1930s Art Deco created in America.

Publisher: Charles Daniel Frey, Chicago

About William P. Welsh