Sascha Maurer Redefines the Railroad Poster

Born in Germany in 1897, Sascha Maurer loved to ski and paint water colors in the Bavarian Alps. He studied at the Munich Academy of Fine Arts and, after serving in the German Navy during World War I, migrated to the United States.

This 1935 poster is one of the first Maurer did for the New Haven. Click image to download a 1,363×2,027 JPG.

By the 1930s, Maurer was painting posters for ski resorts in New England as well as for Splitkein, a pioneer maker of laminated skis. His striking images caught the attention of the New Haven Railroad.

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In contrast with John Held’s busy and wordy posters, Maurer’s typically had one large figure in the foreground, with little or no background, surrounded by a handful of large words. This made them both eye-catching and legible from a distance, as posters should be.

Click image to download a 1,380×2,048 JPG.

To paint New Haven’s semi-streamlined 4-6-4 locomotive, Maurer visited the Baldwin Locomotive Works while the engines were still under construction. The resulting 1938 poster expresses his awe at the size and power of the new locomotives and many consider it one of the greatest railroad posters of the 1930s. Note the similarity between this poster and Krollmann‘s Bozeman Pass, the main difference being that Maurer did not include any background scenery.

Click image to download a 1,396×2,048 JPG.

Instead of putting the scenery in the background, Maurer’s “Summer in New England” poster, which was also done in 1938, uses the silhouette of the same locomotive to reveal an attractive beach scene.

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Maurer also made posters for the Pennsylvania Railroad, including this one suggesting that it was a straight line from New York City’s Penn Station to the 1939 World’s Fair site.

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Maurer’s 1940 poster for the Jeffersonian is striking but a bit busier and wordier than his other efforts.

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However, his 1940 Atlantic City poster looks much like his ski posters.

Maurer continued to design posters after World War II, including an eye-catching eyeful card advertising New York City subway advertising. He died in 1961 at the young age of 64.

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