From 1950 to 1976 Container Corporation of America ran an advertising campaign entitled “Great Ideas of Western Man.” Each poster in the series (totaling 195) matches a statement from a famous Western thinker with an illustration by a contemporary artist.
The artwork in this poster (number 173 in the series) was designed by contemporary artist James Rosenquist and illustrates a quote by attorney and Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, Louis D. Brandeis.
In Rosenquist's design, spaghetti covers a car with a yellow door and a blue roof and with a partial globe of the world and a piece of red licorice on the side of the car. This image is very similar to a section of Rosenquist's large scale collage titled F-111 (1964-65) showing images of consumer culture fragments painted on interlocking panels. Rosenquist's car design on this Poster illustrates this quote from Associate Justice Brandeis:
That margin between that which men naturally do and that which they can do is so great that a system which urges men to action and develops individual enterprise and initiative is preferable in spite of the wastes that necessarily attend that process.
James Rosenquist (1933-2017) was an American artist and one of the major influences in the pop art movement. Drawing from his background working in sign and billboard painting, Rosenquist’s pieces often included consumer culture, depicting popular cultural icons and ordinary everyday objects.
Louis D. Brandeis (1856-1941) was an attorney and Associate Justice on the Supreme Court of the United States from 1916 to 1939. His work centered on progressive social causes.
Walter Paepcke, President of the Container Corporation, initiated this series of advertisements because he believed in expressing larger moral, philosophical and political issues in the company’s advertisements while building awareness of the company and promoting good citizenship.
This poster makes a thought-provoking addition to every poster collection and interesting wall art for every room. If this poster interests you, you'll also want to look at the other posters in this "Great Ideas of Western Man" series that we offer.