The History of Ski Posters: A Journey Through Vintage Ski Posters

The History of Ski Posters: A Journey Through Vintage Ski Posters

"Hiver" ski poster (1920s) | George Barbier Posters, Prints, & Visual Artwork The Trumpet Shop Vintage Prints

George Barbier "L'Hiver" vintage ski poster (1920s) - tap image for prints details


Vintage ski posters are more than just beautiful artwork; they capture the essence of skiing's golden age and the rise of ski tourism. These posters not only promoted various ski resorts but also reflected the cultural and artistic trends of their times. Let's explore the fascinating history of ski posters and the popular ski locations they advertised.

The Origins of Ski Posters

The earliest ski posters date back to the late 19th and early 20th centuries. As skiing transitioned from a utilitarian mode of transportation in snowy regions to a recreational activity, there was a growing need to promote ski resorts to a broader audience. European artists, particularly from Switzerland, Austria, France, and Italy, were among the first to create these captivating posters.

Swiss vintage ski poster print (1930s) - tap image for details.

The Golden Age of Ski Posters: 1920s-1950s

The 1920s to the 1950s are often considered the golden age of vintage ski posters. During this period, ski tourism boomed, and posters became an essential tool for attracting visitors. Artists employed vibrant colors, dynamic compositions, and stylized figures to convey the excitement and allure of skiing.


Swiss resorts like St. Moritz, Davos, and Zermatt were some of the earliest and most popular destinations featured in ski posters. Artists like Emil Cardinaux and Carl Moos created iconic posters that showcased the pristine Alpine scenery and the sophisticated lifestyle associated with Swiss skiing.


French ski posters often highlighted resorts in the French Alps, such as Chamonix, Megève, and Courchevel. These posters combined elements of Art Deco and modernist design, capturing the glamour and elegance of French ski culture. Roger Broders, a prominent French poster artist, was known for his striking and colorful depictions of these resorts.


Austrian ski resorts like Kitzbühel, St. Anton, and Zell am See also gained popularity through eye-catching posters. These posters often featured dynamic skiing scenes set against the majestic backdrop of the Austrian Alps, emphasizing both the thrill of the sport and the beauty of the landscape.


Italian ski posters promoted resorts in the Dolomites, such as Cortina d'Ampezzo and Madonna di Campiglio. These posters often used a mix of realism and stylized imagery to convey the charm and allure of Italian ski destinations.

Winter sports in the dunes ski poster, USA (1920s) Posters, Prints, & Visual Artwork The Trumpet Shop Vintage Prints

Tap image for the full vintage ski posters print collection!

Post-War Ski Posters: 1960s-1980s

After World War II, ski posters continued to evolve, reflecting changes in artistic styles and marketing strategies. The 1960s and 1970s saw a shift towards more abstract and graphic designs, often using bold colors and geometric shapes. During this period, American ski resorts like Aspen, Vail, and Sun Valley began to gain prominence, and their promotional posters reflected the modern, adventurous spirit of American skiing.

Collecting Vintage Ski Posters

Today, vintage ski posters are highly sought after by collectors and enthusiasts. They serve as nostalgic reminders of skiing's history and evolution, as well as exquisite examples of graphic art. Collectors appreciate the craftsmanship and historical significance of these posters, making them valuable pieces of art and memorabilia.


Vintage ski posters offer a captivating glimpse into the history of ski tourism and the artistic trends of the past century. From the early depictions of Swiss and Austrian resorts to the mid-century promotion of American ski destinations, these posters have played a crucial role in shaping the image of skiing as a glamorous and exhilarating sport. Explore the rich history of vintage ski posters and discover the timeless charm they bring to the world of skiing.

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