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Advertising Art, Beer, Statue of Liberty, New York City View, Poster on Tin, American, 1941

$1,500

Ben Stahl (1910-1987)
Loved By Millions
[Schlitz Beer Statue of Liberty Advertisement]
American: 1941
Transfer color print on tin
Signed “Stahl” in the matrix middle right
41 x 30.75 inches

Patriotic large tin advertisement for the Joseph Schlitz Brewing Company, and featuring a painterly illustration of the Statue of Liberty with the slogan “Loved by Millions.” The statue is viewed from below and modeled in strong chiaroscuro against a dramatic abstracted sky as if lit by a golden sun low in the sky. The artist portrays it in its original coppery hues, as it appeared when it was completed in New York Harbor in 1886; by 1941, when this poster was published, it had developed a verdigris patina and was green in color as known today. A trompe-l’oeil rendering of a brass plate at the bottom of the poster bears the inscription “Presented by Jos. Schlitz Brewing Company – Milwaukee, Wis. – 1941.” The image is bordered by a contiguous shaped gold-colored self frame. Schlitz reissued the same advertisement in 1942 with the date in the faux metal plate changed, and published the image on postcards. Presumably the advertisements were intended as bar and tavern décor, to imply that Schlitz beer was also “loved by millions,” and to appeal to American patriotism during the early years of World War II. (The U.S. officially entered the war when Pearl Harbor was attacked by the Japanese in December 1941.)

Product description continues below.

Description

Benjamin “Ben” Stahl was an American painter, illustrator, lithographer, lecturer and teacher. Born in Chicago, he spent the first part of his career there. By age 20 he had exhibited in the Art Institute of Chicago’s International Water Color Show. In the 1930s he began a highly successful career as an illustrator. He sold his first illustration to the Saturday Evening Post in 1933 and published over 750 illustrations in that publication alone over the course of his career, including those he did for C. S. Forester’s famous ”Hornblower” series. In the ’30s and ’40s he received numerous prizes from the Chicago Guild of Freelance Artists, the Chicago Federation Advertising Club, and the Art Directors Club of Chicago. He illustrated several limited editions of classic novels, including Little Women, Madame Bovary, and Gone with the Wind. Stahl’s paintings were shown in museums and galleries across the U.S. including the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh. In 1949, Mr. Stahl helped found the Famous Artists Schools of Westport, Connecticut, a correspondence institute offering home art instruction, whose faculty included Norman Rockwell, Al Parker and others. Of Stahl, Rockwell said, “We are but illustrators, but Ben Stahl is among the masters.” Stahl was honored with the National Academy of Design’s Saltus Gold Medal in 1952. By 1959 he was living in Sarasota, Florida, where he spent the rest of his life. He wrote and illustrated Blackbird’s Ghost, winner of the 1966 Sequoia Book Award, which was made into a Walt Disney film. Stahl was elected to the Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame in 1979.

Condition: Generally very good with only minor overall wear and handling. Few minor abrasions and scratches to painted surface, unobtrusive.

References:

Gilbert, Dorothy B., ed. Who’s Who in American Art. New York: American Federation of Arts and R.R. Bowker, 1959. p. 542.

Rosenblum, Ira. “Ben Stahl, Illustrator, is Dead; A Founder of Artists School.” New York Times. 24 October 1987. http://www.nytimes.com/1987/10/24/obituaries/ben-stahl-illustrator-is-dead-a-founder-of-artists-school.html (19 July 2016).