Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Smoking at the New York Public Library


I recently heard about this exhibition an the NYPL but had a hard time finding any images from it. I finally came across some at Time.
Does anyone else out there realize how far and subversive advertising has become over the past half a century? That's the power of the image.
Here is the release from the show:
"Early in the last century, questions about the health effects of smoking became a topic of widespread discussion, as terms like “smoker’s cough” and “coffin nails” (referring to cigarettes) began to appear in the popular vernacular. Recognizing the need to counter this threat to their livelihood, tobacco companies undertook a multifaceted campaign to allay the public’s fears. One strategy was to promote smoking as a beneficial practice through endorsements by healthy and vigorous-appearing singers, Hollywood stars, elite athletes, and actors posing as medical professionals. This exhibition, created by Dr. Robert Jackler of the Stanford University Medical School, examines the advertising in which, between the late 1920s and the early 1950s, tobacco companies tried to reassure the public of the safety of their products. "

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