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) matched a statement from a famous Western thinker with an illustration by a contemporary artist.
This poster (number 145 in the series) was designed by artist Rene Magritte and illustrates a quote by George Santayana. Magritte's design, the image of a tiny contemporary wood chair sitting on an enormous chair that has been crudely chiseled out of stone, is used to illustrate this quote from Santayana: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
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.
Rene Magritte (1898-1967) was a Belgian Surrealist artist known for making ordinary things strange by putting them into unfamiliar or uncanny scenes, such as this little chair sitting on a giant chair in an unknown landscape.
George Santayana (1863-1952), an American philosopher, author and poet, is popularly known for insightful, wise observations on life such as the one on this poster which is from his series The Life of Reason: The Phases of Human Progress published in five volumes from 1905 to 1906.
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" that we offer.