Stan Galli: Poster Artist of the Mad Men Era

Stan Galli (1912- 2009) was one of the great poster artists of the American West. His realistic and faithful representation of whatever he was tasked with illustrating was always peppered with a sense of style and fun. While not as well known as contemporaries such as David Klein (TWA), Galli's designs are iconic and represent for many the Mad Men era of advertising in America.

Stan Galli was born in San Francisco in 1912, and grew up during a time of great expansion in this part of the United States. Talented from a young age, Galli had to delay his art education during the lean times of the Great Depression. The 1930s saw the young artist working whatever job he could find, from a doughnut fryer to a farm hand at a cattle ranch in Nevada to a truck driver along the Pacific Coast. These drifter jobs gave Galli a vast visual knowledge of the West Coast of the United States, which became invaluable in his development as an artist later on.

Once he had saved up enough money, Stan Galli attended the California Art Institute (now the San Francisco Art Institute) and trained as a commercial artist. Hired right out of school at 1940, Galli gained advertising experience at an art firm that helped him make a name for himself.

During WWII, Galli created both ads for the home front (see below) as well as instructional manuals used in the Navy. The post-war years were filled with works for many magazines, including The Saturday Evening Post, True, Ladies Home Journal, and Reader's Digest.

Stan Galli WWII Magazine Ad
Stan Galli is most well-known for his dynamic and bright advertising posters he created for United Air Lines in the 1950s and early 1960s. These are the posters we love to have in the Gallery - from his iconic Hawaiian outrigger to the ultimate surfer girl poster he created for Los Angeles, each one is a knockout. Below is a selection of great images we have had by Galli - click on any to learn more about it and to see our current stock.
While most known in our world for his posters, Galli created over 25 stamps for the USPS, numerous wildlife conservation paintings, and beautiful landscapes of the Italian countryside where he spent his later years. 
Back to blog

Recent Additions

About The Ross Art Group