Thursday, May 28, 2015

Corporate Purpose in the 1940s


These sparkly 1940s images are yet more from the brilliant Courier magazines that I picked up a while ago and which have featured here a lot of late. These are by the artist sisters Anna and Doris Zinkeisen and they couldn't be more 'of their period' - and all the more wonderful for that. There were commissioned by the United Steel Company as an effort in corporate jingoism to encourage the same spirit of "impatient energy and restless effort that staved off invasion in 1940" to put it to work towards the rebuilding. The titles of the paintings are a long way from poetic being, from top to bottom on this post "Unity of Purpose", "Training and Education", "Planning for Continuity" and "Training for Executives". It's possible to see here the beginnings of a Soviet style monumentalism but as we know, society, economics and art diverged and it's not a road we followed in the west, still, there is something rather enlivening about these mad, almost surrealist images of corporate 'benevolence'!?




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