This is a vintage New York Central System Railway travel poster for the United States Military Academy at West Point. The poster depicts several neogothic granite academic buildings and the iconic Cadet Chapel, with a stunning vista of the Hudson River in the background. The text "West Point United States Military Academy" appears below in large, blue capital letters on a white field. The New York Central System Railway's red logo and train are depicted at the bottom of the poster.
The poster was illustrated by artist Leslie Darrell Ragan (1897-1972). Reagan studied at the Cumming School of Art in Des Moines and the Art Institute in Chicago. Ragan designed many wartime posters for the U.S. Government during the Second World War, but his largest account was with the New York Central Lines. His imagery is a creative and visually striking mix of painterly vistas, graphic text styles, and bold, eye-catching color choices.
"His work exemplified the American taste for realistic depiction while highlighting the natural environment for dramatic effect . . . Ragan's sense of composition and refined wash technique made his best images burst with reflected light" (Zega p. 95).
This poster would be a wonderful gift for collectors of vintage posters, railroad enthusiasts, or even a West Point alumni.
The poster is in good condition. Light creasing along poster margins, including one small paper loss in right side margin. Creases do not affect poster's image. Poster's color is original. Color is still beautiful and nuanced, with very little fading, despite its age. Poster has been signed by artist in stone, lower right corner. The publication mark is visible along very bottom left and right paper margin. Publication mark reads "WP 1952- LITHO IN U.S.A." along the left corner and "WP 1952" along the right corner. Unframed dimensions: 41" H x 27" W.
Poster has been archivally and artfully framed in a custom-built black and gold frame.