Every once in a while in life you stumble onto something or someone that just totally and completely inspires you from the inside out. I came across David Klein this week while searching for the perfect print for our guest bath. A hop, skip and a jump later, while browsing vintage posters on Ebay, I decided to look up vintage air travel posters just to see what I'd find. That is when I saw one of Mr. Klein's vintage TWA posters. I kept jumping from one poster to the next, there were SO many! I realized they all had a similar style and sure enough, they were indeed designed by the same artist.
So I googled to see if those in charge of his estate (he died in 2005) had created a website about him, or if there was a fansite. I found this, and while it's a bit awkward to navigate, I'm so thankful that they took the time to scan/photograph so much of Mr. Klein's work that we otherwise wouldn't get to see! Some images are even of original paintings, drawings and alternate versions of his travel posters that have never seen the light of day until the site. (Although, the image-quality-OCD in me cringes at the poor quality of the photos. It's obvious they used a camera flash as evidenced by the white glow in the center of many of the images! Although, shame on me, beggers can't be choosers.. I just think his work deserves more.)
While David Klein was primarily known for the travel posters he designed for TWA and Orbitz in the 50's and 60's, he also designed window cards for Broadway shows and a little community theater in Brooklyn called The Heights Players, as well as childrens book illustrations (the Alice in Wonderland illustrations are my F A V O R I T E.)
You know what my 3 Christmas wishes are this year? a) that there be prints available of more of his work b) to have a gallery to visit that is full of his original work and posters so that we can see it in person! and c) find a book that is filled to the brim with his catalog of work. What a dream that would be. Luckily you can find reproductions and originals of his travel poster art on Ebay. And I will hold out hope that those other wishes come true one day. (hey, it doesn't hurt to email the contact person on his website to beg for more - I did ; )
I feel really lucky to have stumbled onto David Klein's work this week. It was total serendipity! I don't think I've found an artist that completely encompasses all of the elements I love about these wonderful decades. What a talent he was.