Herbert Bayer was modern Aspen’s original hype man. The Bauhaus artist and local aesthetic icon designed some of the first posters promoting the ski resort, when it was new, in 1946.
One of those original posters is on display — along with many more — in a new exhibition at the Paepcke Gallery on the Aspen Institute campus.
Bayer’s original large-format poster for Aspen at the dawn of the ski resort features an enticing “Ski in Aspen Colorado” text above a photograph of a skier making powder turns inside of an Aspen leaf and surrounded by orange and white stripes.
Bayer also made a poster for the 1968 International Ski Congress in Aspen, with an illustration of two skiers cutting a perfect figure-eight in fresh snow, and another encouraging membership in the National Ski Association showing five skiers doing the same. The collection also boasts a poster for the now-defunct Ski Broadmoor (showing two skiers forming a “B” in the snow).
In all, the Paepcke Gallery show includes 19 posters from the private collection of Denver residents H. Kirk Brown and Jill A. Wiltse.
“We’re honored to have our collection showcased in such a Herbert Bayer-centric building, campus and environment,” Brown said at Monday’s opening.
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He and Wiltse run the nonprofit Design Onscreen, which funds documentaries about architecture and design. They’re hopeful a Bayer movie will make it onto the screen someday soon. They believe Bayer — a household name in Aspen, of course, and among Bauhaus devotees, but not necessarily in the popular culture — is due for a global reappraisal.
“We’ve long thought Herbert Bayer has not been duly recognized and he…
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