(FIRST) NATIONAL CITY BANK
OF NEW YORK
|AMERICAN STILL IFE|
|JOHN ATHERTON Aviation 1951|
|JOHN ATHERTON Rubber 1952|
|GEORGE GIUSTI FASHION|
|GEORGE GIUSTI LEISURE|
The gradually changes in American advertising after 1945 from the use of paintings and drawings to exclusively photographic surfaces makes the history of First National's post-war advertising a fascinating and indicative study.
Before 1960 several large companies made it a matter of principle that they expressed themselves through the manufactured image, a shaped configuration with a tendency to the stylisation of the visible world, e.g. CONTAINER CORPORATION and CBS. In some cases (GATX for example) a form of techno-abstraction was established to catch the sleek shapes of science without directly representative human elements.
The transformation within the First National City Bank of New York is a highly informative case study of the larger progress after 1955 towards the bland photographic propositions of the 1970's and the corresponding dwindling of opportunities for Illustrators.
Shortly after the Second World War the Bank with its vast international system of contacts within global trade began to promote itself with commissioned scnes of economic activity from American painters. These ranged from the adquate to the downright cynical seizing of the Banker's shilling.
Gradually a more systematic policy was introduced of selecting from a much narrower range of artists who were tried and trusted, Walter Murch, Hallock and Clarence Carter being the mainstay.