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Copyright Nil Sellheim and courtesy Josef Lebovic Gallery, Sydney


Date: 1930s
Overall: 664 x 1032 mm, 0.3 kg
Medium: Colour lithograph on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Copyright: ©Nicholas Holger Sellheim
Classification:Posters and postcards
Object Name: Poster
Object No: 00015604
Place Manufactured:Melbourne

User Terms

    This poster advertising travel to Australia features a coloured lithographic image of popular and highly recognisable Australian indigenous and non indigenous icons. Artists working for the Australian National Travel Association commonly used imagery emotive of beach culture to promote Australia as an exotic and desirable tourist destination.
    SignificanceANTA promotional travel posters worked across the spectrum depicting the beach and the outback as desirable travel destinations, occasionally using Aboriginal imagery in their works. This poster by Gert Sellheim, is representative of his bold use of colour, semi abstract style and his use of Aboriginal imagery to promote Australia as a tourist destination.
    HistoryIn an effort to place Australia on the world's tourist map the Australian National Travel Association (ANTA) was created in 1929. As part of their marketing campaign ANTA distributed thousands of travel posters specifically targeting British and American audiences. By 1934 during the peak period in Australian poster production, ANTA had printed 140,000 posters of which 3,000 were issued overseas.

    Throughout the 20th century, posters were used as a relatively inexpensive, eye catching and easily distributed way of marketing - with the beach featuring as one of the most popular and iconic subjects. People were often featured in posters developed by the ANTA as a point of identification, transporting their audience to an attractive alternative reality.

    Gert Sellheim, (1901-1970) born in Estonia, studied Architecture in Berlin. He migrated to Australia in 1926 and began producing travel posters in 1931.Sellheim went on to design iconic posters that represent Australian culture and society, Sellheim created recognisable works such as an Aboriginal two shilling stamp in 1948 and the flying kangaroo logo for Qantas. Sellheim was one of the first poster artists to use the semi- abstract style and later adapted Aboriginal art for advertising purposes.

    Additional Titles

    Primary title: Australia

    Web title: Australia

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