Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Willys-Overland Paintings, Part Five, Poster Promotion

Part Five of the Willys-Overland Paintings brings us the final installment of James Sessions’ work. Working primarily in watercolors, Sessions produced an astounding body of work for Willys’ promotion of the civilian jeep. Beginning early on in the war, Willys ran ads like these in many of the major magazines of the day, Newsweek, Colliers, the Saturday Evening Post, LIFE and Look to name a few. Willys, not to miss an opportunity, also sent out direct mail copies of these ads. I found a total of eleven original lithographed copies of the ads complete with the original envelope that they were shipped in to an Elmer Hacker of St. Louis, Missouri. The envelope is even a neat piece of jeep history showing the Toledo, Ohio postmark (unfortunately undated...but postage rates for packages or large envelopes were 3 cents with 3 cents for each additional ounce up until I’d guess that this realistically dates from the late 1940’s...) and the “Get A ‘Jeep’” stamp on it. I’m not sure if they were purchased or merely sent out by Willys a free promotion to interested parties, but they are neat posters that could have been framed or hung up in someone’s barn, garage or home in the jeep’s infancy. Some of the lithos even include information on the magazines and dates in which they appeared. While there were many duplicates of ads that I already have seen there were the above four that I didn’t have as well as the full color version of the “A Magnificent Fool” black and white ad that I had collected from Newsweek magazine. Click here to view the entire album of ads and artwork. I hope that you’ve enjoyed this series and your appreciation of the beautiful artwork and design work by these artists and the Willys ad men. I’ve always had a fondness for their timeless ads through the years, but these have stood out time and again! I will be taking the next week or two off from regular updates in an effort to consolidate my thoughts on what I have and what I want to present to you next. I have alot of thoughts and dreams and plans. I want to get back to the Jeep Cavalcade scrapbook and work on my plans for the jeep international family tree and work on a new section of international ads as well and a new section of photos and newspaper articles found online. But in order to get to new stuff I need to finish updating the look of the entire site. I’ve been working on it piecemeal for better than the last year and its time that I slogged through it and finished it. So please bear with me for a couple of week while I work on it and I promise that there will be alot more in store for you! Contact me at well if you have any suggestions as to what you’d like to see or check out our Facebook or Twitter pages and leave feedback for me! In the meanwhile check out the great gifts for yourself or another lover of jeeps in your life at the Zazzle online marketplace. And its 22% off EVERYTHING - this weekend only! Enter ZAZZLESALE22 at checkout!

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