Denmark by Rasmussen

Denmark by Rasmussen

Originally published 1946
Denmark by Rasmussen

In 1938, the Danish daily Berlingske Tidende announced a poster competition. The artist Aage Rasmussen participated and won. The year before, he had made his breakthrough as a poster artist with an effective poster for the most modern thing imaginable: an express train.

Rasmussen, like many Nordic poster artists, was inspired by the Ukrainian-French poster artist A.M. Cassandre’s art deco style. When Cassandre took to the brush, the poster would be expressive and preferably contain a single dominant element. How good then that it was Cassandre who sat on the jury for the Danish competition…

Rasmussen’s cornfield is shaped like a monumental wave. A single dominant element, as said. The motif had originally been created as an agricultural poster, but for the competition Rasmussen repainted the barn into a church. Then he compensated the removed barn with a grazing cow. You give and you take. The poster had been given a new life!

The difference between an agricultural poster and a travel poster wasn’t really that big. During the interwar period, Danish agriculture attracted admiration abroad. With its cooperative system, the country was considered to be walking along a narrow but inspiring path between capitalism and communism.

The sea and the cornfield in Rasmussen’s poster became clear symbols for Denmark. According to the tourist brochures, the Danes were an agrarian but well-educated people. The Danish soil is fertile and the educational opportunities are many, it was pointed out.

Rasmussen’s poster could only be published after the war, in 1946. Now Europe longed to travel. To enjoy the peace. And Denmark welcomed visitors with an equally inviting and respectful bow from the cornfield.

Check out over 200 classic Finnish travel posters and read more about all the great Finnish poster artists in the digital version of our book ”Come to Finland” (found in three different editions; in English, French and German). After enjoying the posters a while we believe you are ready to order the real thing: the printed coffee table book.