May 16, 2009

Curators Choice: Christchurch 1938 Lithograph

Detail from a circa 1938 lithographic poster of Christchurch for the New Zealand Department of Railways. Although unsigned, the painting can be attributed with reasonable certainty to the Wellington artist Leonard Cornwall Mitchell (1901-1971).

Depicted to the immediate Right of the Bridge of Remembrance is the lost tower of the 1918 Crystal Palace theatre, sadly demolished in 1986 in favour of the nondescript Crystal Plaza arcade.

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Jayne said...

While it is definitely Art Deco it still echoes Art Nouveau.
Very pretty and harkens a lost age of slower, quieter times.

Canterbury Heritage said...

Yes, it's a transitional style reminiscent of a decade earlier, but Australia's 8th and 9th States have long been in a gentle time warp - the upside being those slower, quieter times.

porc-├ępic said...

Looks more like a screen print - a serigraph - than a lithograph. It's a lovely example of the international style of travel poster from 'between the wars', and would likely have been printed on fabric-backed paper, with a separate hand-separated screen for each colour.

Canterbury Heritage said...

During that era posters for the New Zealand Department of Railways were produced at Wellington by the Government Printer using what is usually described as the lithographic process. It would be very nice to ascertain that it is in fact a serigraph, but even as a lithograph the estimated value of a fine copy is between $750 and $1,000.