L’Art du Ski

Some of you lucky sods will have had the joys of skiing this winter, whether it be on the slopes of France, Switzerland or Austria. The hot sun beating down on the mountains as you dash past the terrified first-timers doing pizza plough, wobbling precariously on their limbs. But what was it like to ski 50 years ago? These amazing posters give us a glimpse at the theatre that was skiing back in the 1900s.

The skiing poster is almost it’s own genre; depicting the sportsmen and women as almost superheros, shooting through the mountains at ridiculous speeds. Of course, skiing was considerably harder back in those days, with an average ski width of about a fingernail.

As there has always been a romanticism surrounding the snow and the mountains, there was a huge element of romantic awe surrounding the skiiers too. Bold, brave and probably slightly stupid, they wowed thousands that flocked to watch these pioneers of the sport, and some fantastic posters were made to celebrate them.

One of these posters could be yours too, as they are currently being auctioned off in New York!

Swann Galleries says, “This sale has examples by the likes of Georges Dorival, Emil Cardinaux, Charles Hallo and Alex Walter Diggelmann, all from the top rank of poster designers.” The collection is expected to top $90,00!

L'Art du Ski

The goggly-eyed man on the front here is promoting the Hannes Marker Cup in 1973, in the German town of Garmisch Partenkirchen. What a name!

L'Art du Ski

L’Art du Ski

Davos in Switzerland , although it may sound like a Greek island, is infact one of the most sought after resorts for vintage poster collectors. Walther Koch, a German painter and designer, created this poster in 1908. He also designed both the pavilion for the Davos spa and the interior of the Davos Forest Sanatorium.

L'Art du Ski

Whilst us Europeans this side of the world are more acquainted with skiing in the Alps, Canada provides some of the most enviable skiing of anywhere in the world. Here the French-speaking region of Quebec is being advertised, signed by designers Eberhardt.

L'Art du Ski

L’Art du Ski

Here we see a slightly surreal scene of the Swiss slopes of Davos in 1956, with a slightly unfortunate skiier testing his ability at the top.

L'Art du Ski

L’Art du Ski

Depicting a scene that some of us will be more familiar with, it shows the lazier skiiers basking in the sun at a bar, in Beatenberg, Swizterland. This poster was created by Martin Peikert in 1945, just after the end of the war, when smiles on faces were starting to appear again.

L'Art du Ski

L'Art du Ski

L’Art du Ski

L'Art du Ski

L’Art du Ski

Above is HEKKTA’s favourite poster, giving us an indication of how the brave skiiers were seen by the public in 1939. Although the slopes may not have had the numbers of visitors during the war, in famously neutral Switzerland, the show went on! This is a promotional poster for the Eastern Switzerland Ski Race, or Ostschweiz Skirennen, with the two super-skiiers poised on the front ready to do battle.

L'Art du Ski

Although we may not be these super athletes that graced the slopes a century ago, there is still that special feeling once you’re on the mountains; the peaceful quiet whilst being surrounded by blinding, white snow. Things are slightly more commercialised now, so we may not have rows of aghast spectators lining the slopes, but next time HEKKTA finds themselves on the frozen pathways of the Alps, we’ll be sure to be hurtling through the air like the man above!

2019-02-06T12:14:04+00:00