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Books & Magazines May, 4 2010

Winter Carnival: A Century of Dartmouth Posters

This book won’t release until October. Still, my own excitement keeps me from holding off on a post until a firm date is revealed. Edited by Jay Satterfield, Winter Carnival: A Century of Dartmouth PostersWinter Carnival: A Century of Dartmouth Posters simply celebrates a century of graphic design related to the College’s famed seasonal bash.

Words from the publisher, University of New England Press

Avidly collected and fetching high prices at auction, the Dartmouth Winter Carnival poster is a treasured and tangible artifact of one of the College’s most cherished traditions. Here, presented for the first time, is Dartmouth College Library’s definitive collection of Winter Carnival posters from 1911 to 2010, celebrating Dartmouth’s seasonal bacchanal, sports fest, and social daze. In addition to their merit as markers of changing taste in graphic arts, the posters offer a fascinating glimpse into a century of intense cultural and institutional development. As a sustained collection the posters are nearly unrivaled, to the envy of ephemera collectors. Everything is here, from the high-end, design-informed style of the early years to the pop-culture and annual-theme inspired posters of more recent years. A constant element is the effervescence of those Dartmouth days, tinged with the glow of nostalgia: youth, energy, sex, sports, camaraderie, and dragons.

This colorful and memory-evoking volume also includes a catalogue raisonné giving poster dimensions, artists’ names, and other relevant information; charming artistic ephemera (dance cards and programs) from the missing (posterless?) years of 1912 to 1934; and rare photos of the poster selection process. In addition, the book includes an illustrated essay retelling the story of Budd Schulberg and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s notorious trip to Winter Carnival; an essay about the art of the posters by noted graphic arts scholar Steven Heller; and a poignant piece by alumna and cultural observer Gina Barreca (class of ’79) remembering the posters and the Winter Carnival experience from a student’s point of view. This is a wonderful book for alumni, collectors of posters and ski posters, and anyone who has ever been touched by the magic of Winter Carnival.

Available for pre-order from AmazonWinter Carnival: A Century of Dartmouth Posters.

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