Monday, March 27, 2023

Walter Schnackenberg Poster Art

Walter Schnackenberg (1880-1961) seems to be best known for his poster art.  His brief Wikipedia entry here mentions:

"He ... designed stage sets, theatre costumes and posters, including a signed one around 1920 for his father-in-law's Europäische Güter- und Reisegepäck-Versicherungs-AG travel insurance firm and examples for Munich's Deutsches Theater."

From this, I gather that Schnackenberg had few financial worries during his productive years.  The extent of those years is obscure to me, being based on the examples of his work found on Internet image searches.  The poster images I downloaded seem to range from 1910, or perhaps a few years before, into the early 1930s.

Other biographical sources on the Web are equally sparse regarding him -- especially his career after the early '30s, aside from one remarking that he "worked" in the town where he died.  Some photographic evidence suggests that he was making paintings rather than posters by then.

As for his style, it was more "arty" or "mannered" than the work of Ludwig Hohlwien, Munich's most famous poster artist.  I find his posters more interesting than likable, but you are free to disagree.


First, four Odeon Casino posters, the one above dated 1911.

From 1922.

A 1912 poster for the Munch restaurant-bar.

Dated 1920.

From the woman's costume, this seems to be from the '30s.

Poster for a Swedish cabaret -- again from around 1930.

Appears to be dated 1932.

A 1918 poster warning against the evils of Bolshevism.  Communism brings war, unemployment and hunger, according to the caption.  There was serious danger of Communism taking over Germany at that time, and Schnackenberg lent his support to fighting it.  Note that the style is similar to left-wing political posters of the era, not like his work for cabarets.

Poster for his father-in-law's company.  The woman's neck and face are similar to the work of Jean Dupas.

By 1914 Schnackenberg was well enough known that there was an exhibit of his poster art.

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