Recently, Crownfolio junior and I were in the library together and found this.
Now, surely this has to be the same Andre Amstutz who was designing posters for British Rail, the GPO and others in the late 50s and 1960s. Posters like this one.
There just can’t be that many people called Andre Amstutz to start with, never mind ones who can draw such delightful people. Here’s another scan from the book, to compare and contrast.
The progression makes sense as a career path; when posters weren’t being commissioned any more, that designers went into illustrating books instead. It looks as though that’s what Fritz Wegner (see yesterday’s post) did, and it looks as though that’s what Amstutz did too. Here’s his biography from the Penguin website.
Andre Amstutz was born in Brighton. He studied art and design at Brighton School of Art and then joined an animation film company. He later began a career in advertising, becoming Art Director at an advertising agency. Since 1960 he has worked freelance, designing posters and illustrations for a wide variety of clients, and more recently has moved into publishing, primarily as an illustrator of children’ books.
Now, I think Amstutz is a very under-rated artist. This may be because he didn’t do that many posters – I can only find a handful of British Railways ones.
Along with a few for the GPO.
(He also did a Properly Packed Parcels Please one, which I’ve posted previously.)
And this BEA poster, which is the only one of his which I can track at auction anywhere. Doesn’t go for a lot, but comes up regularly.
But the ones he did do are great, so I can’t understand why he is so overlooked. Perhaps making cheerful posters doesn’t necessarily do a lot for your reputation; people see them as cheesy and a bit uncool.
But however dour and serious you are about posters, how could you resist this? It’s from 1947-ish, and is utterly wonderful.
This isn’t the best picture of it ever, I’m afraid (the colours are much crisper in real life) but ours is framed, and I’ve never ever seen it anywhere else, so I’ve had to photograph it through the glass. Apologies.
But if anyone is able to tell me anything about British Railways moving farm by train, I would genuinely like to know. Or, for that matter, if you can tell me more about Mr Amstutz himself. He deserves more recognition. And now you must excuse me, because I have a few pigs and a tractor to pack up.