The Mad Men Who Designed Posters in the 1960s

A number of years ago, I purchased a series of posters for the 1980 Lake Placid Winter Olympics that were designed by an American artist, Dennis Wheeler. The last one that we still have is a design showing the figure skater Linda Frattiano.


About 4 years ago, I was in my Gallery when a well dressed couple came in and asked to see me. It turns out that it was Dennis Wheeler and his wife, Kathy. He wanted to meet me and see what a Vintage Poster Gallery looks like. We immediately took a liking to each other and spent quite some time discussing our respective careers. Dennis is still actively painting and creating new art but he no longer works in the advertising world. It turns out that during the 1960’s (do I hear Mad Men anywhere?) he worked with a gifted team of creative people at Time Life. This was when people read magazines that were printed weekly.

As part of Dennis Wheeler’s work, he created a fabulous project to promote Life Magazine using only 3 colors – black, red, and off-white. The collection of images won an Advertising Industry award as well as becoming a permanent part of the Collection of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York. We are proud and delighted to offer some of these whimsical and very cool graphics to our clients. They were mainly printed and used in the Northeastern United States and they prove to the viewer that oftentimes, the simpler the graphics, the stronger the message. Please review these images and enjoy looking back at state of the art advertising of 50 years ago:



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