Today we are releasing 1,100 high resolution vintage posters from the Federal Art Project (FAP) and Works Progress Administration (WPA). Even though all of the posters were not published before 1923 (which is a good indicator of a public domain image), they were designed and/or published by a Works Progress Administration employee, as part of that employee’s official duties. This means that they are works of the U.S. federal government, which means that all of these posters are public domain images. All 1,100 of them are license free and copyright free, so you can do whatever the heck you want to with them! *Invisible high five!*
I am particularly excited about this public domain image collection of vintage posters because I have been trying to find them for A LONG time. Don’t get me wrong, it’s easy to find WPA posters, they’re everywhere if you search Google or if you look on Pinterest. It’s easy to find these vintage posters but they are always low resolution! The reason I’m so excited right now, is because I finally found the original scans, which means I found the high resolution versions of these WPA/FAP posters! Which means I can bring you downloads of these images that you have never been able to get your hands on before! Very exciting!
One of the first galleries that I ever released on viintage.com was a gallery of free vintage travel posters but not all of the images were high resolution, plus I only had about 160 of them. Today is super exciting because finally I’m able to release a gallery of vintage WPA Posters that are all high resolution AND THERE ARE 1,100 OF THEM! Be excited, be-be-excited! Viintage.com is the only place on the internet where you’ll find all of these vintage posters available for download and in high resolution. I bet you are ready to get your hands on them, aren’t you? Ok so, I actually broke the collection up into 2 galleries to keep the load time of the pages to a minimum. Ready to start downloading? Here are the links for our Premium Members:
*Note – You will need to be a Premium Member to access the high resolution images.
But I’m Not A Premium Member!
Ok so maybe you haven’t joined our amazing community of Viintage supporters yet by becoming a premium member. Well, we’re not going to leave you out in the cold. We’ve also created a free gallery of these awesome vintage posters that anyone can access and download without even having to create an account. Please note that these are very low resolution images and are not suitable for printing but they will give you a great idea of how amazing this vintage poster collection is. So, take a peek at all 1,100 vintage posters and see what you could be getting if you decide to become a monthly/annual supporter of Viintage. Here is the link to the low resolution free downloads:
What is the WPA and FPA and Why Did They Make These Posters?
Put your learning caps on, here’s an educational tidbit. The Federal Art Project (FAP) was the visual arts arm of the Great Depression-era New Deal Works Progress Administration program in the United States. It operated from August 29, 1935, until June 30, 1943. Allegedly creating more than 200,000 separate works, FAP artists created posters, murals and paintings. Some works still stand among the most-significant pieces of public art in the country. Abstraction had not yet gained favor in the 1930s and 1940s and, thus, was virtually unsalable. As a result, the program supported many iconic artists before their work could earn them income. The FAP’s primary goals were to employ out-of-work artists and to provide art for non-federal government buildings: schools, hospitals, libraries, etc. The work was divided into art production, art instruction and art research. The primary output of the art-research group was the Index of American Design, a mammoth and comprehensive study of American material culture. The FAP was one of a short-lived series of Depression-era visual-arts programs, which included the Section of Painting and Sculpture and the Public Works of Art Project (both of which, unlike the WPA-operated FAP, were operated by the U.S. Department of the Treasury).
Read more at Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_Art_Project
What About Bulk Downloads?
Great question. Considering that it would take a rather long time to download all of these images individually, we also offer a one-click easy download on our sister site quick.viintage.com. This is NOT included in the Premium Membership at Viintage.com, so there would be an additional fee. But, since we love you and all, we’re going to offer our amazing supporters a 50% discount on the vintage poster collection until the end of February.
To get your discount just enter this code: wpa50
Sample Images from the Vintage Poster Collection
What are you going to do with these amazing images? Start a poster company? Well, you could and I’d bet that you’d make a good living printing and selling these vintage posters alone. But there’s a lot more incredible public domain images on our site and we’re gonna keep bringing you more. I’d love to know how you plan to use these images. So, unleash your creativity and post a comment below letting me know what you might do with these vintage posters.
I’ve been watching the The Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics the last couple of days and I started thinking that it would be cool if there were some vintage posters that we available from the first ever winter olympics. So I did some digging and I found a few gems that I wanted to share with you. Here are come cool vintage travel posters from some of the first winter Olympics ever. These are high resolution and are public domain images, so feel free to use them however you want. If you want to see more vintage travel posters, click the button at the bottom of this post to check out free gallery that we just posted with hundreds of super cool vintage public domain posters.
We just added two new galleries of vintage Valentine public domain images. These vintage victorian Valentine greeting cards are from the early 1900’s. When I found these images it made me wonder what the origin of the Valentine’s day card was. So, I did a little research and thought I would share with you what I discovered.
Valentine greetings were around as far back as the Middle Ages, although written Valentine’s cards didn’t begin to appear until after 1400. The oldest known valentine still in existence is a poem written by Charles, the Duke of Orleans, to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London in 1415. He had been imprisoned when he was captured at the Battle of Agincourt. This greeting is now part of the collection of the British Library in London, England.
The image above is a depiction of the imprisonment of Charles, Duke of Orleans in the Tower of London. This is from a manuscript of poems written by Charles during his imprisonment. Charles was help as a prisoner for 25 years (from 1415 to 1440). He is shown standing at a window in the Tower and dispatching a letter from the courtyard. You can see London Bridge is in the background. Below is the poem that he wrote and the translation.
Je suis desja d’amour tanné, I am already sick of love,
Ma tres doulce Valentinée, My very gentle Valentine,
Car pour moi fustes trop tart née, Since for me you were born too soon,
Et moy pour vous fus trop tost né. And I for you was born too late.
Dieu lui pardoint qui estrené God forgives him who has estranged
M’a de vous, pour toute l’année. Me from you for the whole year.
Je suis desja d’amour tanné, I am already sick of love,
Ma tres doulce Valentinée, My very gentle Valentine,
Bien m’estoye suspeconné, Well might I have suspected
Qu’auroye telle destinée, That such a destiny,
Ains que passast ceste journée, Thus would have happened this day,
Combien qu’Amours l’eust ordonné. How much that Love would have commanded.
Je suis desja d’amour tanné, I am already sick of love,
Ma tres doulce Valentinée. My very gentle Valentine.
The First Valentine’s Love Letter From Margery Brews to Sir John Paston
As far as we know, the oldest love letter associated with Valentine’s Day in the English language is also from the fifteenth century. This Valentine’s letter, was written in February 1477, and was sent to John Paston by Margery Brews. In the letter she tells John that she has asked her mother to try and get her father to increase her dowry, but that it’s probably not going to happen, so, if he loves her, he needs to be prepared to marry her without any guarantee of more financial assistance from her father. John did eventually get married to Margery despite the fact that he was going to have to fork out all of the money for his bride-to-be. Check out her letter is below.
Here is the transcript of the letter that’s a little more readable. I just love reading this out loud and trying to imagine what it would have sounded like if I were actually there while John was reading this “Voluntyne” [Valentine] aloud to himself.
Vnto my ryght welbelouyd Voluntyn John Paston, squyer, be this bill & delyuered, &c. Ryght reuerent and wurschypfull and my ryght welebeloued Voluntyne, I recommande me vnto yowe full hertely, desyring to here of yowr welefare, whech I beseche Almyghty God long for to preserve vnto hys plesure and yowr hertys desyre. And yf it please yowe to here of my welefare, I am not in good heele of body ner of herte, nor schall be tyll I here from yowe; For ther wottys no creature what peyn that I endure, And for to be deede I dare it not dyscure. And my lady my moder hath labored the mater to my fadure full delygently, but sche can no more gete then ye knowe of, for the whech God knowyth I am full sory. But yf that ye loffe me, as I tryste verely that ye do, ye will not leffe me therfor; for if that ye hade not halfe the lyvelode that ye hafe, for to do the grettyst labure that any woman on lyve myght, I wold not forsake yowe. And yf ye commande me to kepe me true whereeuer I go iwyse I will do all my myght owe to love and neuer no mo. And yf my freendys say that I do amys, thei schal not me let so for to do, Myn herte me byddys euer more to love yowe truly ouer all erthely thing. And yf thei be neuer so wroth, I tryst it schall be bettur in tyme commyng. No more to yowe at this tyme, but the Holy Trinité hafe yowe in kepyng. And I besech yowe that this bill be not seyn of non erthely creature safe only your-selfe, &c. And thys lettur was indyte at Topcroft wyth full heuy herte, &c. Be your own M. B.
Valentine’s Day Grows In Popularity
In Great Britain, Valentine’s Day began to be popularly celebrated around the 17th century. By the middle of the 18th, it was common for friends and lovers of all social classes to exchange small tokens of affection or handwritten notes, and by 1900 printed cards began to replace written letters due to improvements in printing technology. Ready-made cards were an easy way for people to express their emotions in a time when direct expression of one’s feelings was discouraged. Cheaper postage rates also contributed to an increase in the popularity of sending Valentine’s Day greetings.
Esther A. Howland, Entrepreneur and “The Mother of the American Valentine”
Americans probably began exchanging hand-made valentines in the early 1700s. In the 1840s, Esther A. Howland was the first to make mass-produced valentines in America. It all started when Howland received an ornate English Valentine from a business associate of her fathers when she was just 19 years old. She was inspired by the card and started playing around with the idea of making her own similar Valentines. It didn’t hurt that her father operated the largest book and stationery store in Worcester, Massachusetts. So, she ordered supplies for her project importing paper lace and floral decorations from England. I strongly believe that you’ll be the most successful when you can see a need and then fill a need. At the time elaborate Valentine greeting cards were imported from Europe and most Americans simply could not afford them. Inspired by filling this need to make more these elaborate Valentine cards more affordable, she made a dozen samples to test the market. Basically she created a Kickstarter campaign back in the 1800’s.
So, she made a dozen samples and sent them with her brother, who was a salesman, on his next sales trip. She was hoping for $200.00 worth of orders when he returned, she must have been beside herself when he returned with over $5,000 worth of orders for her. Howland employed friends and developed a thriving business using an assembly line. She named her business the “New England Valentine Company”. Her valentines became renowned throughout the United States and she became known as “The Mother of the American Valentine.” Her business grew until it eventually grossed over $100,000 per year, which was incredible for that time period. She eventually sold the business to 1881 after many successful years.
Here is one of the cards that was made by the New England Valentine Company.
Public Domain Images for Vintage Valentine’s Printables
Now that you know your history, let’s get to the good stuff. We just added two new galleries of vintage Valentine’s public domain images. These vintage victorian Valentine’s greeting cards are from the early 1900’s. The first gallery is a gallery free downloads of lower resolution images, unfortunately this was the highest resolution we could get from our source. There are over 80 Valentine’s cards in this collection and we included the scans from the front and back of the cards.
Click the image below to access the the free gallery of Vintage Valentine’s public domain images.
Click the image below to access the the premium members gallery of high resolution Vintage Valentine’s public domain images.
What do you think about Valentine’s Day greeting cards? Do you still send them to friends and family? Do you prefer hand written or pre-made cards? Post your answers in the comments below. I can’t wait to hear from you!
This collection of public domain images contains a total of 56 high resolution vintage posters, all hand-colored lithographs published in France at the turn of the 20th century. 52 of the posters were published as Musée des Horreurs, and three as Musée des Patriotes. Also included in this collection is a broadside concerning the Panama scandal, which paved the way for the wave of anti-Semitism that peaked during the Dreyfus Affair.
These lithographs feature caricatures of various individuals involved in the Dreyfus Affair in France. The posters were originally produced from 1899 to 1900 by an artist using the pseudonym V. Lenepveu and document the anti-Semitic upsurge brought about by the Dreyfus Affair. The caricatures from Musée des Horreurs include heads or faces of prominent Jews, Dreyfus supporters, and Republican statesman placed on grotesque animal bodies. The caricatures in Musée des Patriotes glorify those working to undermine Dreyfus; showing the anti-Dreyfusards in heroic poses.
If you are not a premium member but still want to download these images, you can get the bulk download from our store without being a premium member. Click Here if you would like to get the easy one-click bulk download of the Musée des Horreurs Collection.
I can definitely see these vintage posters being used in some very cool ways. The story that goes along with them is sure to be a conversation starter. What would you do with these images? Post your creative ideas in the comments below. Thanks for posting!
How cool is this? I stumbled across this vintage public domain image today from Deere & Company, A.K.A John Deere, printed back in 1884, 2 years before John Deere died. Here is an exerpt from Wikipedia about John Deere and how he got started, pretty interesting story.
Deere & Company began when John Deere moved to Grand Detour, Illinois in 1836 in order to escape bankruptcy in Vermont. Already an established blacksmith, Deere opened a 1,378 square feet shop in Grand Detour in 1837 which allowed him to serve as a general repairman in the village, as well as a manufacturer of small tools such as pitchforks and shovels.
What was more successful than these small tools was Deere’s cast-steelplow, which was pioneered in 1837. Prior to Deere’s introduction of the steel plow, most farmers used iron or wooden plows which stuck to the rich Midwestern soil and had to be cleaned very frequently. The smooth sided steel plow solved this problem, and would greatly aid migration into the American Great Plains in the 19th and early 20th century.
Deere’s production of plows began slowly, but increased greatly when he departed from the traditional business model of making equipment as it was ordered and instead began to manufacture plows before they were ordered and then put them up for sale. This allowed customers to see what they were buying beforehand, and word of the product began to spread quickly.
In 1842, Deere entered a business partnership with Leonard Andrus and purchased land for the construction of a new two-story factory along the Rock River in Illinois. This factory produced about 100 plows in 1842 and around 400 plows during the next year. Deere’s partnership with Andrus ended in 1848, when Deere relocated to Moline, Illinois in order to have access to the railroad and the Mississippi River. In Moline, Deere quickly built a new factory in 1848. Production at the plant rose quickly and, by 1849, the Deere, Tate & Gould Company was producing over 200 plows a month.
John Deere died in 1886, and the presidency of Deere & Company passed to his son Charles Deere. By now the company was manufacturing a variety of farm equipment products in addition to plows, including wagons, corn planters and cultivators. The company even expanded into the bicycle business briefly during the 1890s, but the core focus of the company remained on agricultural implements.
I love theses images and think it would be super cool to reprint them and sell them at local John Deere dealerships as notebooks. What do you think? To see the image full screen just click on it. To download it just right-click and “save as”. If you do something cool with this please let me know.
While Disney took and reused from the public domain, none of the works created by Disney, including derivative works based upon public domain works, have entered the public domain for others to build upon. And if current policy is extended — they never will. Disney continuously lobbies Congress for copyright extensions so much so that the first time they went to congress, the company’s lobbying efforts were so extensive, the bill is often referred to as the “Mickey Mouse Protection Act.” They also use the platform to try and inform the public that copyright should last forever because it’s their “property” and that it’s never ok to use or build upon their property without paying. Under the content industry’s vernacular, if taking and remixing other people’s work without paying for it is always stealing then the Disney Corporation is responsible for one of the greatest thefts in world history.
One of the biggest beneficiaries of the public domain has been Disney, a company which has regularly mined the public domain for the stories it then recreates and copyrights. Of course, somewhat depressingly, Disney also has been one of the most extreme players in keeping anything new out of the public domain, as pointed out by Tom Bell’s excellent “mickey mouse curve” showing how Disney has sought to push out the term of copyrights every time Mickey Mouse gets near the public domain.
Derek Khanna has decided to crowdsource a list of all of the public domain works that Disney has relied on over the years. He’s also looking for revenue figures on all of those works, in an attempt to show just how much Disney has profited off of the public domain (and hopefully to shut up those who argue that when a work falls into the public domain, it suddenly loses its value).
See the original post by TechDirt here Crowdsourcing A List Of How Disney Uses The Public Domain | Techdirt.
Today we added two new premium galleries of public domain images. They are both vintage children’s books they have some incredible vintage graphics.
The first gallery is from Denslow’s Humpty Dumpty. It was published in 1903 and illustrated by W. W. Denslow. Desnlow had a way of revising classical fairytales and bringing them to life in a new way. The text in the back of the book made me laugh out loud.
Denslow’s Picture Books for Children
For these books W. W. Denslow has revised and adapted several of the best classical fairy tales. He has improved these stories by elimination of all coarseness, cruelty, and everything that might frighten children. They are new; more beautiful and striking in both text and picture than any children’s books heretofore published. Each book is filled with pictures of action and fun in brilliant colors. The twelve books are uniform in size.
Here is a link to this premium gallery Denslow’s Humpty Dumpty.
The second premium gallery is another vintage children’s book, Hey Diddle Diddle and Baby Bunting and it was illustrated by R. Caldecott in 1882. Randolph Caldecott was a British artist and illustrator. The Caldecott Medal was named in his honor. He focused his artistic abilities mainly in book illustrations. Caldecott greatly influenced illustration of children’s books during the nineteenth century. Two books illustrated by him, priced at a shilling each, were published every Christmas for eight years. When Randolph’s “Picture Books” were first published, no dates of publication were included. It therefore requires some detective work to deduce the publication date of early editions. Fortunately this book has the date it was published, 1882, hand written on the 3rd page.
Here is a link to this premium gallery Hey Diddle Diddle and Baby Bunting.
Thousands of years of visual culture made free through Wellcome Public Domain Images
A few days ago over 100,000 public domain images ranging from ancient medical manuscripts to etchings by artists such as Vincent Van Gogh and Francisco Goya were released for free download as hi-res images on the Wellcome Library of London website WellcomeImages.org.
These public domain images are drawn from the historical holdings of the world-renowned Wellcome Library, the images are being released under the Creative Commons-Attribution only (CC-BY) licence. This means that all the historical images can be downloaded and freely copied, distributed, edited, manipulated, and built upon as you wish, for personal or commercial use as long as the source Wellcome Library is attributed.
When I first saw the announcement I jumped for joy at the release of 100,000 more images to the public domain! At second glance, I was not so excited. As usual the images are hosted in a complex website that is extremely hard to navigate and very cumbersome to operate. There is no simple way to view all of the images and it is like trying to buy a car to actually download one of the high resolution images. Why do these people build me up just to let me down! As always there is more than one way to access these images and I aim to make these public domain images more accessible to you the public.
Just to show you how complicated it is to actually download one of the images follow the instructions below.
7 Steps to Downloading Images from Wellcome Library
First you have to find the images you want. Then you click on “Download hi-res Images”.
Agree to the Terms
Then you have to fill in why you are downloading the image, the extremely annoying reCAPTCHA, that I just can’t ever seem to get correct. AHHH! And then finally agree to the terms and conditions set forth by Wellcome Images.
Then you are presented with a download link, which you click on.
If that weren’t annoying enough, now you are taken to another page where you have to click on another “download” button.
Save the Zip File
Now there is a ZIP file that was auto-generated for you to download the images you chose. Save it to your computer, in your folder of choice.
UnZip the Archive Folder
Now you have to unzip the file that you downloaded.
Enjoy Your Download
Now your downloaded images are in the folder that was unzipped. Yikes! and I complained about “right click save as”, this is way more complicated than a right click!
I hope it was worth it!
Fortunately the images are very nice and high resolution. So, maybe it’s worth all of the work. For me, this is just too complicated! So, for now, enjoy browsing and downloading these images from the Wellcome Images site. Hopefully I’ll be able to crack the code and give you an easier option than the one they offer.
Here are some sample images from the Wellcome Library.
Ok folks, I’m super excited to finally announce that we have extracted all of the public domain images and illustrations from the Aikermann’s Repository of Arts. We manually sorted 20,000 pages of the 20 year publication, published from 1809 to 1829 and extracted 1,499 illustrations. This is probably one of my favorite collections that we have ever discovered. There are 3 ways that you can obtain the Aikermann’s Repository of Arts.
*Note: If you are already a premium member, you can begin browsing and downloading the images right now. We have broken the collection into separate galleries containing 200 public domain images each. We did this to allow you to browse the images more easily. Since the individual images are so large, having too many images in a single gallery tends to make the images load extremely slow. If you are a premium member Click Here to access the list of premium public domain image galleries and begin downloading now.
Three Options for Downloading the Public Domain Images
1) You can download the entire collection of 20,000 pages in PDF format. This is going to be lower resolution but great if you want to actually read the text and get a better historical perspective of what was going on in England at the turn of the 19th century. This is about 1.5 GB in file size.
To get the entire public domain image collection as PDF’s.
2) You can download the entire collection of 1,499 high resolution ILLUSTRATIONS ONLY in an easy, one-click download. This is about 4 GB in file size.
To get the entire collection of 1,499 high resolution public domain illustrations.
3) Premium members can browse the entire collection of 1,499 high resolution illustrations and download only the images they want. Obviously, this would take more time because you would have to manually download each image with the “right-click, save as” method, but it might be more enjoyable for you to do it this way.
To preview of the collection and download 52 of the low res. public domain illustrations free.
Regardless of how you choose to enjoy these fantastic images, we’re super excited to bring them to you, the public. Now we’re one step closer to bridging the gap between the public and the public domain. We can’t wait to bring you more amazing vintage public domain images! Until then, please leave us a comment below letting us know how you feel about these images. Do you feel like we struck vintage gold? or do you feel like these are a worthless waste of time?! Good, bad, or ugly we appreciate your honest feedback and we can’t wait to hear from you!