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found: antonis mor

As a frequent visitor to the Prado in Madrid, I’d seen works by Antonis Mor —known in Spanish as Antonio Moro— for decades. But it wasn’t until the restoration of his portrait of Mary Tudor that I really took notice of these masterpieces.

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found: dale nichols

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Dale Nichols, American Regionalism

During our recent trip to the US, I spent an amazing morning at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem. What a collection! One of the first pieces to catch my eye was a painting that reminded me of works I’d seen in Missouri by Thomas Hart Benton: richly-colored, soft & pillowy scenes depicting the American Midwest. I’d probably seen paintings by Dale Nichols before, but the above landscape from 1942 (Sunday Dinner in Franconia) made me want to learn more.

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found: estúdio novaes

Estúdio Novaes collection, Art Library, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation

Ahhhh, the new & modern Lisbon of the mid-20th century… a period tainted by the Salazar dictatorship, but construction during this era gave the capital city much of its iconic look. Fortunately two brothers made a business out of documenting this epic growth spurt that visitors flock to today.

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found: spain travel posters

Spain, travel, poster, España es diferente

One of the first things I tell tour members when guiding a Rick Steves Spain tour is “España es diferente“. We live at the edge of Europe, border Africa, eat later than most, have business hours that take some getting used to… the list can go on & on. It’s definitely not like any other place in Europe. But I also comment that the Franco-era tourism slogan “Spain is different” still shapes our image of Spain today. Nowhere is this more easy to observe than in period travel posters.

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found: eyvind earle

Eyvind Earle, art, Sleeping Beauty, Disney

Who doesn’t remember the first time they saw those stunning visuals of Disney’s Sleeping Beauty? I was lucky enough to be born in 1970, so I saw most Disney movies in the cinema instead of on the home screen. What a difference. Nothing conveys that depth of field —wandering through a deep, dark forest— or fighting a dragon against all odds.

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found: argentina travel posters

Argentina, travel poster, Aerolíneas Argentinas, routes

As a tour guide, I’m often interested in how destinations market themselves. How do cities or nations identify themselves to potential visitors? The golden age of travel may be long gone, but its memory persists in the guise of travel posters. Interestingly, Argentina used to portray itself as a nature destination & stressed the gaucho & beef… nothing about tango (at least in the posters I found) & only one hyping Buenos Aires. How times have changed.

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