Rene Wanner's Poster Page

News: Record auction price for an Alex W. Diggelmann poster
received from Swann Galleries

Alex W. Diggelmann, Gstaad, 1934
Courtesy of Swann Auction Galleries.
It gives me particular pleasure to see that the poster "Gstaad" made the top of the list at USD 30'000 on a recent poster auction at Swann Auction Galleries in New York, fetching ten times the estimated price.

It was designed in 1934 for the fashionable swiss ski resort in Gstaad, by Alex W. Diggelmann (1902 - 1987), who was one of my drawing teachers when I was in high school, I saw him once a week for 4 years.

I had no idea at that time that he was also a very successfull poster designer, and famous artist, he was a teacher like many others, a nice and easygoing one, but nothing else. In the eyes of a teenager, teachers don't have a life. And I had no particular interest in posters, except as decorative background for parties. Had I asked Herr Diggelmann for a copy, I'm sure he would have been very pleased and given me one ...

"Digg", as we called him, was also on the jury of the school's yearly art competition, in which I once won the first, second and third price (disclosure: I was the only participant). I still have my painting, it was a plagiat, well lets say heavily inspired, of Herbert Leupin's well known poster Pause, Coca Cola. The prize was a book about the swiss photographer Werner Bischof which profoundly influenced my lifelong interest in photography.

It took about 50 years until I saw Diggelmann's first posters, when a stamp collecting friend mentioned that he had also designed swiss postage stamps.

I don't think he was poor or starving, but the proceeds from the sale would have payed his yearly teacher salary many times over. If only I had asked ...

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