Thursday, February 15, 2018

Richard Decker Advertising Art for Rheingold

New Yorker cartoonist Richard Decker created two ink and wash drawings for Young & Rubicam's Rheingold beer account. The first is set in a grocery store and is titled Dealer & Girl while the second is called Fortune Teller. The verso contains the Y&R stamp with address but no postal zone (introduced in 1943) or zip code (introduced in 1963). On the basis of this, the owner conjectures these may date to the late 1930s or 1940s. Neither drawing bears a caption or advertising copy. Publication information is unknown.

The grocery store has some stacked cans that may or may not be beer cans, but nothing that is specifically Rheingold. The window advertises 15 cent beer. If the woman—I mean girl—is supposed to be carrying a transistor radio in her handbag, this could date the drawing to 1954 or later. To me, the drawing seems to have a breezy 1950s feel to it. In contrast, it's hard to place the Fortune Teller drawing at a specific time, but the man behind the chair wears the same grocer's apron over his suit and has the same pencil behind his ear. These ads likely appeared in the trade press to persuade grocers to stock more Rheingold beer.

Richard Decker
Dealer and Girl
Original advertising art for Rheingold
Young & Rubicam

Courtesy the Jerome Wrinkle Collection

Richard Decker
Fortune Teller
Original advertising art for Rheingold

Young & Rubicam

Courtesy the Jerome Wrinkle Collection
Emile Waldteufel
Estudiantina Waltz, Op. 191, No. 4, 1883
After a melody by Paul Lacome, 1881

My Beer is Rheingold, the Dry Beer, 1956

Note:  But where and when were they published, specifically? If you know, step to the front of the line and a 15-cent beer's on the house.

Let's see some more art by Richard Decker! Attempted Bloggery would love to publish your scans or photographs.

My thanks to Jerome Wrinkle for sharing this original advertising art from his collection.

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