By: Victor Beals
Date: 1950 (circa) Chicago
Dimensions: 16 x 22 inches (40.5 x 56 cm)
This is a striking example of Victor Beal's mid-century vintage poster made for the Santa Fe Railway. The scene presents the Superchief passenger train, a streamliner claimed to be "The Train of the Stars" because of the various celebrities it carried between Chicago, Illinois, and Los Angeles, California. The train is shown running through a red cliff canyon indicative of the American Southwest with the conductor gazing out of the window.
The Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway (ATSF) was founded in 1859 at the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway. The railway was largely responsible for "settling the west" by establishing a number of real estate offices to sell farmland through land grants awarded to them by congress. This further generated demand for railway service extension and frequency of travel. Eventually, the company offered a bus line service to help passengers reach unique and remote destinations not unsuitable for a major railroad. At one time, the ATSF operated a tugboat fleet, ferryboats in San Francisco, and a short-lived airline known as the Santa Fe Skyway. In 1996 the railway merged with its northern counterpart the Burlington Northern to become the BNSF Railway we know today.
Victor Beals (1895-1975) was a well accomplished artist and illustrator who made a career working on projects for a number of American design firms. He was influenced early on by the post-impressionism movement that gave way to Fauvism, that utilize vivid, other worldly colors and vibrant brushstrokes as a key component of painting. Victor Beal largely focused his efforts on works for the travel and tourism industry including this remarkable piece for the Santa Fe Railway.
Condition: This poster is in B+ condition, with vibrant colors. There is a 1.25" tear in the lower left corner that just enters the image and the outer margins shows some browning of the paper, mostly in the top left and lower right corners. The poster has been linen-backed for preservation and presentation purposes.
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