Vintage Values: Classic pamphlet cover design from 20th century Ireland Vintage Values is a collection of pamphlet covers designed and printed in Ireland between the 1920s and 1960s by the Catholic Truth Society (now Veritas). The pamphlets were principally used to help people seeking advice in a variety of topics such as marriage, sin, dating and social graces.

The collection is extremely unique. It gives a visual context for an important period in Irish history. The artwork shows how forward-thinking the artists were in producing work in such a bold visual style. The collection includes work by esteemed Irish designers including George Altendorf and Karl Uhlemann.

Long hidden in the Veritas archives, this will be the first time in over 50 years they have been seen by the public.

We have chosen 10 of our favourites from the archive for a limited edition print run of 500 . Each are hand numbered and printed on A2, 250gm, white stock paper.

Delivery is free within the island of Ireland.

 

Record card for ‘Sister Felicitas Wins A Bicycle’ (1952) from the Veritas archive. Artist credit for George Altendorf.

THE ARTISTS


George Altendorf (1904-1966) was born in Dublin to a German father and Irish mother. He attended the Dublin Metropolitan School of Art and studied under Austin Molloy. Molloy was a close friend and colleague of Harry Clarke and took over his class in illustration and layout at the school after Clarke resigned in 1923. A number of talented Irish designers passed through this class including Altendorf, Olive Cunningham, Richard King, Victor Penney and John Henry. Altendorf's brother Albert also attended the Metropolitan School and later worked as a designer in stain glass at the Harry Clarke Studios. George Altendorf became assistant art director at the Irish Press on its establishment in 1929 and went on to be art editor. He was a prolific commercial artist and cartoonist.

 

Karl Uhlemann (1912–1992) was also born in Dublin to a German father and Irish mother. Uhlemann was educated at Synge Street CBS and went to work at Colm Ó Lochlainn’s Sign of the Three Candles press upon leaving school. Best known for collaborating with Ó Lochlainn on the design of the Colum Cille typeface (1936) for Stanley Morrison at Monotype. He spent a year in Germany studying under Walter Tiemann at the Akademie für Graphische Kunst und Buchgewerbe, Leipzig in the early ’thirties. He was particularly adept at scraperboard illustration and produced numerous book covers for FNT, Talbot Press, Clonmore & Reynolds and the Educational Company.

 

George Monks was born in Dublin in 1879. He contributed illustrations and cover designs to Our Boys and illustrated books by Aodh De Blácam for Whelan & Son and The Mellifont Press including Patsy the Codologist. His cover design for The Beefy Saint (1922) is the earliest work in this book.

 

Alfred Monahan (Ailbhe Ó Monacháin)(1889-1967) was born in Belfast. He wrote and illustrated a number of books for Sign of the Three Candles and An Gúm. For over a decade he illustrated covers and stories for An tUltach as well as nationalist cards and calendars for Brian O’Higgins.

 

Unfortunately, we have scant details of the other artists whose work is included. John Henry was a student at the Dublin Metropolitan School of Art during the time George Altendorf was attending the school. Seán Best designed the cover of the official Eucharistic Congress programme (1932) and W. Kiernan may be Walter J. Kiernan who took 2nd Prize in the ‘Show Card or Catalogue Cover’ category in the 1929 Royal Dublin Society National Art Competition. A Martin Collins held a solo exhibition of paintings in Lad Lane Gallery in 1978 and was also working as a ‘visualiser’ with the Peter Owens advertising agency in the early 1980s but are either or both the same artist who created the covers in this book?