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eMuseum

"Luxury products"

This exhibition illustrates how products were highlighted and promoted in historical posters. It prompts us to ponder the term ‘luxury’ in general, but also its varied interpretations in different eras and cultural spaces.

In a brief interview, Nico Lazúla Baur, archivist of the Museum für Gestaltung’s poster collection, talks about how the concept of Genussmittel (luxury products) has developed and highlights the history of coffee consumption. As the exhibition shows, Maja Allenbach’s posters were particularly pioneering.

You can find the interview here

When does the term Genussmittel (luxury products) arise?

The definition of products as luxury goods, or as intoxicating or addictive, is determined by cultural, ideological and religious influences and differs according to socio-cultural context and historical epoch. Tobacco, for instance, has been defined as an addictive substance in Europe only since the 1950s; for centuries, it was seen as a luxury, even therapeutic product. Another example: until recently, beer enjoyed a significant status alongside bread as ‘liquid bread’.

When did people start drinking coffee in Europe?

Pure ground coffee became an everyday product in Europe only after the ‘economic miracle’ of the 1950s. Previously, it was an expensive, exotic luxury and its consumption was seen as inappropriate in a rural context. Until the second world war, more than half of coffee consumed was in the form of coffee substitute products.

The massive expansion of the coffee substitute industry was driven by import difficulties, the supposed detrimental effects of genuine coffee, the high price of arabica coffee, and the growing number of workers and their rapidly changing living conditions. Until the end of the 19th century, potatoes, spirits and coffee (or coffee substitutes) were the classic trilogy of the meagre but widespread proletarian diet, and helped to overcome long working hours.  To promote public health, ‘healthy coffee’ made of malt, rye or figs was introduced.

Which of the posters in the exhibition would you say is particularly pioneering?

The posters by Maja Allenbach deserve special attention. Unfortunately, she is largely unknown today, but she was an early pioneer of the photo poster in Switzerland. In bringing together photography and typography, Allenbach ushered in a new aesthetic in consumer posters. Her avant-garde design sensibility is very much evident in her advertising posters for Astra fat and Stalden cream.

Allenbach attracted attention with her surreal 1935 poster for Astra fat and oils. It communicates a clear message: by using Astra fat, the floating baby becomes a young man striding confidently into life. But it also reflects the traditional roles of the time – it is clearly meant to appeal to mothers.

We are lucky that Allenbach’s original design, ‘Astra hilft sparen’, which appears not to have been used, entered the collection last year.

Donald Brun

Release date
1943

Coop Kaffee – preiswert und gut

Viktor Rutz

Release date
1939

Floralp Butter am besten

anonym

Release date
1937

Tobler Cacao – Die billigste Volksnahrung

Donald Brun

Release date
1948

Bell

Atelier Eidenbenz / Willi Eidenbenz

Release date
1958

L. Wyler

Release date
1940

Crest Pfeifen

anonym

Release date
1933

Hero Conserven Lenzburg

Donald Brun

Release date
1944

Erika Pudding

Hans Aeschbach

Release date
1952

Hero Lenzburg – neue Sorte

Fritz Bühler

Release date
1938

Brot gibt Kraft

Atelier Eidenbenz / Hanspeter Rolly

Release date
1954

Usego Speisefett – schmackhaft und ausgiebig

Maja Allenbach

Release date
1945

Stalden Konserven

Jules Glaser

Release date
1947

Franck Aroma

Viktor Rutz

Release date
1944

Frisco – Tiefgekühlt

Advico AG / Mario Trüb

Photographer
Kurt Staub

Release date
1967

Jaffa

Donald Brun

Release date
1957

Maggi Steinpilzsuppe

Maja Allenbach

Release date
1935

Mamans, faites votre cuisine à la graisse d'arachide Astra

Wäspi

Release date
1945

Mis Bachme Chäsli!

Viktor Rutz

Release date
1944

Bigrement bon

Viktor Rutz

Release date
1942

Mahalla

Herbert Leupin

Release date
1944

Suchard – Milka

Numa Rick

Release date
1937

Franck Aroma – Cichorie

Maja Allenbach

Release date
1936

Speisefett Astra – Für alles – Mit garantiert 10% eingesottener Butter

Walter Sigg

Release date
1953

Usego – Jubiläums Kaffee

Martin Peikert

Release date
1944

Händ ihr au Roco Confi? (Plakatentwurf)

anonym

Release date
1944

Co-op

Atelier Eidenbenz / Hermann Eidenbenz

Release date
1950

Bell Mortadella

Viktor Rutz

Release date
1947

Stalden

Fritz Meyer

Release date
1954

Frutta Hero Lenzburg

Franz Gygax

Release date
1949

Gerber Gala – Doppelrahm Käse

Plakatsammlung Museum für Gestaltung Zürich

Die Plakatsammlung des Museum für Gestaltung Zürich, gehört weltweit zu den umfangreichsten und bedeutendsten Archiven dieser Art. Rund 350'000 Objekte, davon etwa 120'000 inventarisiert, dokumentieren die schweizerische und internationale Geschichte des Plakats von ihren Anfängen Mitte des 19. Jahrhunderts bis in die Gegenwart. Die Sammlung umfasst politische, kulturelle und kommerzielle Plakate. Ihre Vielfalt in historischer, thematischer und geografischer Hinsicht ermöglicht sowohl eine Tour d’Horizon der Plakatkunst als auch den Blick in ein visuelles Archiv der Alltagswelt. Ein Teil der Sammelobjekte ist bereits über einen Online-Katalog recherchierbar: www.emuseum.ch Dieser wird kontinuierlich erweitert.

 
Rechte

Die Bilder dieser Online-Ausstellung sind Teil des digitalen Katalogs der Plakatsammlung des Museum für Gestaltung Zürich und dienen ausschliesslich der Illustration. Jede Verwendung zugunsten Dritter – Veröffentlichung der Bilder oder sonstige kommerzielle Nutzung – ist ohne Erlaubnis der Rechteinhaber nicht zulässig. Informationen zur Bestellung von Bildvorlagen: sammlungen@museum-gestaltung.ch