Monday, January 28, 2013

Adolph Treidler: Poster Style Illustration

Adolph Treidler (1886-1981) wrote a charming little memoir for Automobile Quarterly's Third Quarter 1976 issue. If you do the subtraction, that would have made him about 90 years old at the time. By that point, he had been retired from illustration for around 25 years. And some of his best known work was done as long ago as 1910 for Pierce-Arrow, one of the leading makers of luxury cars in America.

This site has a tiny biography along with examples showing a variety of Treidler's work. But there was no really useful biographical sketch that I could find on the Internet.

According to his AQ memoir, Treidler was born in West Cliff, Colorado. The family moved to various mining towns in that state until leaving for San Francisco about 1898. He worked for an advertising agency while in his teens, experiencing the 1906 earthquake and fire shortly before departing for Chicago. There he stayed for about a year and a half, working as an artist for the Chicago Tribune newspaper. Then he moved on to New York where one of his paintings that happened to include a Pierce-Arrow car caught the eye of a man who soon became an art director at the Calkins & Holden advertising agency, which held the Pierce-Arrow account. From that point, his career took off like a rocket.

Besides Pierce-Arrow ad art (which ended around 1930, when the company was rapidly declining), he did poster and other advertising art for the French Line, Bermuda tourism, the government war effort in both world wars, and Chesterfield cigarettes.


Pierce-Arrow ad harking back to an earlier Treidler ad

Pierce Arrow ad art, Literary Digest - 5 January 1929

Chesterfield cigarette advertising

Poster for Bermuda tourism

World War 2 poster - 1942

Poster for Furness line

Treidler was surprisingly versatile when it came to style. The posters dealing with Bermuda would seem to have been done by another artist than the one who did the World War 2 poster. And it might have been a third artist who did the Chesterfield ad art and a fourth who worked for Pierce-Arrow. But of course this was all Treidler. I wouldn't quite place him in the top echelon of illustrators because he didn't do story illustration so far as I can tell. But as an advertising artist he was indeed good.


dearieme said...

The slogan on the war poster is presumably a wordier version of the British "Loose talk costs lives".

Anyway, I agree with you - what fine illustrations!

Anonymous said...

"In the purchase of a car from income, the average allowance usually more than covers the initial Pierce-Arrow payment."

That line in the first poster completely stumped me, until I realized that Pierce-Arrows were being pitched not at people who actually worked for a living, but at those who had "incomes" from investments and trusts.
No wonder traffic officers would be deferential.


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Deegan1 said...

I purchased two water colors by Treidler. The subject matter on both paintings are landscapes that I believe are from his Bermuda days. Water colors tend to lose some of their color with time and these are no exception since I purchased them in 2018. They are probably in the neighborhood of 70 years old and they still look fairly good as they have been kept of of bright light for the last 30 years (an estimate). I would like to find out if his work has any value. Please contact me if you have any information on Mr. Treidler.

Donald Pittenger said...

Deegan1 -- Market values of artworks are far from my radar. I suggest contacting dealers in illustration art because value is an important business factor for them.