The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Posters designed to promote Israel visits

The Art of Vintage Israeli Travel Posters exhibit at the Skirball Cultural Center features posters mainly produced in the 1950s and 1960s by the Israeli government and airline companies to promote travel to the then newly founded country.

The painted images and photographs are infused with bright colors.The poster are made by an offset lithographic process, where ink is transferred from a plate to a rubber sheet and then to printing paper, creating clear and sharp imagery.

With phrases such as “there is no winter in Israel,” most posters depict Israel as an exotic destination and ideal vacation spot.

A series of stamps made in 1963 by Jean David, a Romanian who moved to Israel, are created to celebrate Jewish New Year. David uses religious stories to promote the city of Jaffa. “The Land of Bible,” a 1950s poster produced by the Israeli department of tourism also portrays a spiritual image of Israel by utilizing biblical stories.

Another poster

There are also 1950s posters by an Israeli navigation company, designed to stress the convenience of travel between the U.S. and Israel. The American flag becomes a path leading to a cruise ship, while the vessel’s opposite end becomes the Israeli flag.

The exhibit includes works by Franz Kraus, an Israeli graphic designer who moved to Palestine in 1934, well before the establishment of the state of Israel. Kraus’ 1936 “Visit Palestine” poster is an early work designed to draw more people to the region.

Most of the 30 posters showcased are produced by EL AL Israel Airlines. Stamps celebrating the airlines Bar Mitzvah (thirteenth anniversary) were released since EL AL Airlines contributed to the economic development of Israel.

One of the first posters produced by El Al Israel Airlines shows an image of Moses on a stained glass window. The caption says “To Israel, the holy land.”

El Al Israel Airlines emphasizes the ease of traveling intercontinental from Israel, with a 1950s poster of the iconic metropolitan symbols including the Eiffel tower, the Statue of Liberty and Big Ben, all in a bundle. It suggests travel amongst them is speedy and easy.

The posters create a harmonious image of the region complete with waterfalls, kids frolicking and families picnicking. All posters present an Israel filled with freedom and harmony.

In one poster a traditionally dressed man sounding a horn on a hill by the beach looks at a beach side resort where children play and adults bask in the sun.

Most images are designed to promote tourism by concentrating on the historic and religious significance of the region.

Israeli government and companies are not alone in using religious sentiments to win over costumers. Posters from Air France and Trans World Airlines, displayed at the exhibit, share the same themes.

Israeli history is also documented in the time span of the ad campaigns. After the 1967 war Israel took control of the entire city of Jerusalem. The exhibit shows later posters beginning to promote visits to the city of Jerusalem as well.

Some posters promoted Israel as a whole but as each city developed its own identity, poster images began to concentrate on individual city destinations like Nazareth, Jaffa and Jerusalem.

The free exhibit runs from April 5 to July 8 at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles.

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