Afernoon Session at 2.00p.m.
ACADEMY CINEMA/THE ART OF PETER STRAUSFELD (1910-1980)
Anyone who is familiar with either the London Underground or London cinemas will immediately recognise the striking series of posters for the Academy Cinema on Oxford Street which adorned the station platforms and escalator sides for over thirty years until the cinema sadly closed in the early 1980s.
Today cinema posters are rarely allowed to show the individual style of their designers, relying instead on stills from the film they promote. The Academy Cinema was different in this respect having used the same artists lino-cut posters for its often avant-garde continental films for over thirty years to give it a unique identity.
German born Strausfeld came to England in 1938. After various jobs including illustrator and making cartoons for the Ministry of Information during the Second World War. There he met film producer George Hoellering who went on to become the director of the Academy Cinema and so the Academy poster was born.
Over three hundred posters for various films were designed in all and in the early years only a maximum of one hundred were printed for each film. In the mid-1970s this run went to three hundred. Peter Strausfeld's wife Peggy kept one copy of each poster when possible as she was an admirer of her husband's work. Many of the posters on offer here are unique or one of a handful still surviving.
An interesting and unique point about these posters is that without exception, they were printed from the artist's original lino-cuts. It should be noted that dates of screening at the Academy Cinema were often different to the release date in the country of orogin.
The following nineteen lots are from the collection of Peggy Strausfeld.