The Sell – Australian Advertising 1790s – 1990s @ National Library of Australia

The National Gallery does great work in historical retrospectives of elements of Australian life. The current exhibition is a classic. It streams from the first printed advertisement printed in Sydney in the early 19790s the end of the 20th century.

These detailed histories draw on vast collections available in the NLA  There are remarkable early newspapers, there are gorgeous travel posters, there are printers stages for posters, there is a set of Redheads match box covers over a few decades showing their changes and style differences.

One sad omision is the creative approaches to cigarette advertising. While it is illegal now during its life it was a truly stunningly creative part of advertising. In this large show there is one Paul Hogan ad and two anti cigarette works.

I am amazed that the National Library has this no photographs policy. Nearly all this stuff is theirs or ours and is out of copyright. Lots of the rest is out on the internet. No pictures here an not much support on the website of this remarkable coverage of a significant element of Australian history.

https://www.nla.gov.au/exhibitions/the-sell

 

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