Rene Wanner's Poster Page

News: Otto Baumberger exhibition in Zuerich (CH)
October 12, 2008, received from Alessia Contin

Otto Baumberger, Marque PKZ, CH 1923

Otto Baumberger, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, CH 1928

Otto Baumberger, Wer rechnet kaum im Globus, poster design, CH 1934

Otto Baumberger, Jungfraubahn Schweiz, CH 1923

Otto Baumberger, Swan, CH 1919

  Otto Baumberger - Advertising Pioneer
1 October 2008 to 1 February 2009
Plakatraum, Limmatstrasse 55, 8005 Zurich, Switzerland

Poster Collection
Museum fuer Gestaltung Zuerich
Museum of Design Zurich

Limmatstrasse 57, Postfach, CH-8031 Zurich
Tel. +41 (0)43 446 44 66
Fax +41 (0)43 446 45 57

Opening hours
Tuesday - Friday, and Sunday, 1 pm to 5 pm, admission free

Zurich University of the Arts
Zurich Universities of Applied Sciences and Arts

Otto Baumberger (1889-1961) is today regarded as poster pioneer in Switzerland. He owes this reputation not just to the quality of his work - in around 40 years he produced more than 200 posters -, but also on account of the design range covered by the works.

Baumberger's stylistic diversity was understood at an early stage as his particular kind of modernity. His poster work is characterised neither by a continuous development nor a personal style, and in this sense differs from that of his contemporaries in the epoch of the artist poster at the beginning of the 20th century. Baumberger anticipated many current communication strategies, whose laws consist in part of finding a different design solution for every product to be marketed and for each client. In this respect, too, he was at variance with the modernism of his time, with the ethical and aesthetic ideals of the Werkbund or, later, with those of the Bauhaus which recognised in applied art the possibilities of comprehensive democratisation.

Behind Baumberger's attitude to poster design, which differed from the tendencies of his time, is concealed a basic conflict that extends throughout his entire biography. For all his life advertising represented for Baumberger a means of earning a living, his passion was fine art, which, however, could not guarantee him with a livelihood. He therefore never iden-tified with the profession of graphic designer and in this area shifted his artistic identity to the background. Paradoxically this complex psychology provided the basis for the excep-tional diversity of Baumberger's creative posters.

As a shaper of political and social messages as well as a designer of cultural, tourism and consumer posters Baumberger exploited the entire palette of themes of this medium. Whereas a number of his posters are inconsequential - an inevitable result of mass production - others have become icons. But it is only in the complex synopsis, which allows the sec-ond-rate to stand beside the excellent, that one can really grasp Baumberger's significance.

Hence his posters embody the development from the painterly artist poster to graphically influenced corporate design and make him one of the exemplary representatives of Swiss poster history in the first half of the 20th century.

Project management: Bettina Richter, curator of the Poster Collection, or telephone +41 (0)43 446 66 06 (Wed - Fri)
Scientific assistance: Balthasar Zimmermann, or
telephone +41 (0)43 446 66 00 (Mon - Wed)

If you require further information and/or visual material please contact or telephone +41 (0)43 446 66 04 (Tues - Fri, 1 pm - 5 pm).

Around the same time the Graphische Sammlung der Zentralbibliothek Zuerich (Main Library of the University Zurich) is presenting Otto Baumberger's book illustrations and works on paper: 4 October 2008 to 7 February 2009 in the Predigerchor of the Zentralbibliothek, Predigerplatz 33, 8001 Zurich, > Aktuell/Veranstaltungen.

Kind regards,

Museum fuer Gestaltung Zuerich
Poster Collection

Publication on the exhibition
Otto Baumberger, "Poster Collection" 18
Museum fuer Gestaltung Zuerich, Poster Collection / Lars Mueller Publishers
With an essay by Martin Heller
97 illustrations, 96 pages, G/E, ISBN 978-3-03778-129-6, CHF 36

More information in Delicious: Otto Baumberger

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