At a recent specialized poster auction, the Droom en Daad Foundation
managed to get its hands on the world-famous Statendam poster. The French designer, A.M. Cassandre (1901 - 1968), is regarded as the leading poster artist of the twentieth century. Originally from Cassandre (pseudonym for Adolphe Jean-Marie Mouron), he studied painting at the École des Beaux Arts in Paris. His designs for the railways, shipping companies and luxury drinks from the period 1923 - 1936 have become the icon of the Art Déco. Cassandre worked between 1927 and 1931 for Dutch clients with Oranjeboom, Droste, Gazelle, Philips and Van Nelle. The Rotterdam advertising agency Nijgh & Van Ditmar introduced Cassandre in the Netherlands. Here his designs were immediately appreciated. It was in the Netherlands where Cassandre was honored in 1932 in De Lakenhal in Leiden with a first oeuvre exhibition.
With his exhibition in 1936 in the Museum of Modern Art in New York Cassandre made his name as the foremost poster designer of his time. With that, the modern poster acquired international museum status in one go. His design for the new luxury steamer Statendam of the Holland-America Line (1929) became an icon. The abstract image of the steamship Statendam often appeared in magazines and the poster became one of his most distinctive designs that is cherished in museum collections worldwide. The newly acquired Statendam will be shown in the future in the permanent set-up in the Fenix, the museum for immigration and for most people the port of departure for Ellis Island. The historical poster comes home in this monumental former warehouse of the Holland-America Line that is being converted into 'the place where emigrants get a document'.