The Art of the Poster: Special Lecture by Leonard A. Lauder

June 23, 2011

For Immediate Release
Contact: Lisa Yorker
The Aspen Institute
Tel. 970-544-7950


Aspen, CO, June 23, 2011 –– Leonard A. Lauder, Chairman Emeritus of The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. and trustee and Chairman Emeritus of the Aspen Institute will give a public lecture on the history and art of the modern poster. This special event is organized on the occasion of the exhibition Snow, Speed, and Style: Winter Sport Posters from the Leonard and Evelyn Lauder Collection, on view at the Paepcke Gallery at the Aspen Institute through the summer of 2011.

Mr. Lauder is a renowned patron of the arts, who has also devoted his expertise and collecting interests to the modern poster for over fifty years. He became a poster collector in 1943, when, at age eleven, he purchased his first in a series of the patriotic posters issued by the Office of War Information (OWI) to promote the American war effort at home.
Riding the subway for hours to the outer boroughs, he went to every OWI office in New York City to complete the set.

The modern poster was born in the late nineteenth century with the invention of fast speed color lithography. Until the end of WWII posters were the preferred medium for advertising consumer goods, theatrical events, travel, and leisure. Posters were the first public street art.  Major artists created eye-catching graphic images aimed to solicit the mass, urban public both up-close on the sidewalk and at a distance from the windows of new forms of mass transportation. Despite their practical function and ephemeral existence, the poster became a valued art form.  Museum exhibitions and collections devoted to the art of the poster began by the turn of the 20th century. The period of the Belle Epoque in Paris, with artists such as Jules Chéret and Toulouse Lautrec, launched the poster craze and distinctive Art Nouveau style, which spread all over Europe and to America. Between the World Wars, poster art led the development of Art Deco as well as the photomontage machine aesthetic promoted by the Bauhaus.

Mr. Lauder’s lecture at the Paepcke auditorium focuses on the golden age of the winter sport poster (c. 1910-1940), primarily Swiss examples. In the late-19th century the railway and modern-engineered tunnels opened up the Alps to wealthy and intrepid tourists. With the backdrop of Alpine mountain ranges and the resorts of St Moritz and Davos, these posters depict the new leisure activities of alpine and cross-country skiing, bobsledding, ice-skating, sleigh rides, ski-jumping, and skijoring (ski-trekkers pulled by a horse). Stunningly rendered with sweeping views of snowy terrain and the graceful lines of smartly dressed mountaineers, these masterpieces of graphic art publicized the vision of natural beauty and physical exhilaration at the top of the world. Mr. Lauder’s lecture will also discuss the evolution of the Alpine poster through its major artists Emil Cardinaux, Burkhard Mangold, and Ludwig Hohlwein, and its influence on the visual depictions of Colorado ski resorts.

In addition to the OWI and Alpine ski images, Mr. Lauder has amassed several distinct poster collections that reflect his commitment to the medium as both art form and historical artifact. These include masterpieces of graphic design created by the artists of the Viennese Secession; transatlantic shipping posters that document the phenomenon of European immigration as well as luxury travel; French Art Deco train posters; and American1890s posters that publicized literary magazines. He has donated his various poster collections to museums across the country, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University, the Wolfsonian in Miami Beach Florida, and the Museum of Modern Art, New York. In 1987, the Leonard A. Lauder Collection of American Art Posters of the 1890s entered the permanent collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and was the subject of a major exhibition and published catalogue. He continues to add to this collection on the museum’s behalf.

For further information and images please contact or 970-544-7950.


Leonard A. Lauder is Chairman Emeritus of The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. and is currently the senior member of its Board of Directors. Founded in 1946, the Company is one of the world’s leading manufacturers and marketers of quality skin care, makeup, fragrance and hair care products, with annual sales of 2011-06-23 15:01:09.8 billion. Its products are sold in over 150 countries and territories across more than 25 well-recognized brand names.

A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, Mr. Lauder also studied at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business and served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy. He formally joined Estée Lauder in 1958, when it had annual sales of . Mr. Lauder consistently developed and implemented innovative sales and marketing programs and increased the Company’s sales and profits. He created its first research and development laboratory and brought in professional management on every level. He also initiated The Estée Lauder Companies’
international expansion, which began in 1960 with the opening of the Estée Lauder account at Harrods in London.

Mr. Lauder served as President of The Estée Lauder Companies from 1972 to
1995 and as Chief Executive Officer from 1982 to 1999. He added the title of Chairman in 1995 and served as Chairman of The Estée Lauder Companies through June 2009. Under his leadership, the Company launched many brands, including Aramis, Clinique, Lab Series Skincare for Men and Origins.
Beginning in the mid-1990s, the Company also began expanding through acquisitions, including Aveda, Bobbi Brown, Jo Malone, La Mer and M·A·C.

In addition to his activities with The Estée Lauder Companies, Mr. Lauder is extremely involved in the worlds of education, art, politics and philanthropy. He is a charter trustee of the University of Pennsylvania and a founding member of the board of governors of its Joseph H. Lauder Institute of Management and International Studies. Mr. Lauder became a trustee of the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City in 1977 and currently serves as its Chairman Emeritus. He is Co-Founder and Chairman of the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a trustee of The Aspen Institute, Chairman of The Aspen Institute International Committee, and a member of the President’s Council of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Hospital. Mr. Lauder served on the Advisory Committee for Trade Negotiations under President Ronald Reagan.
Included among his honors, he was presented with the National Order of Merit by the French Government, named an Officier de la Légion d’Honneur by France and recognized by The United States Navy Supply Corps Foundation with its Distinguished Alumni Award.

Mr. and Mrs. Lauder have two sons; William, Executive Chairman of The Estée Lauder Companies, and Gary, Managing Director, Lauder Partners LLC, and four grandchildren.

The Aspen Institute mission is twofold: to foster values-based leadership, encouraging individuals to reflect on the ideals and ideas that define a good society, and to provide a neutral and balanced venue for discussing and acting on critical issues. The Aspen Institute does this primarily in four ways: seminars, young-leader fellowships around the globe, policy programs, and public conferences and events. The Institute is based in Washington, DC; Aspen, Colorado; and on the Wye River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. It also has an international network of partners.


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