Peter Max: HAPPY PEOPLE DON'T SMOKE CIGARETTES [poster title]. New York: American Cancer Society, [c. 1970]. Original impression. 24 x 36 - inch [60.96 x 91.44 cm] trim size image printed via offset lithography on a lightweight matte sheet. A fine, fresh example.
24 x 36 - inch [60.96 x 91.44 cm] poster designed by Peter Max as part of a campus antismoking campaign started by the American Cancer Society in 1970. “To reach college students after the broadcast PSA space was eliminated by the enactment of the 1970 broadcast ban, the American Cancer Society developed a campus antismoking poster campaign. Posters were an attractive option because poster space is often free or inexpensive on high school, college, and university campuses . . . in addition to using grassroots creative generated by college students, Peter Max, a regarded graphic artist, also designed posters, book covers, and a a television commercial campaign for the American Cancer Society with the tagline, “Happy people Don’t Smoke” and “Beautiful Things Happen When You Don’t Smoke Cigarettes” that were used in the late 1960s and early 1970s.” — Elizabeth Crisp Crawford, Tobacco Goes to College: Cigarette Advertising in Student Media, 1920-1980 [Mcfarland, 2014]
This poster is part of the permanent collection of the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. So there.
Peter Max (German/American 1937 - ) was born in Berlin in 1937 but his family moved to China when he was still very young. In fact the young Max would move frequently with his family, learning about a variety of cultures throughout the world while traveling from Tibet to Africa to Israel to Europe until his family moved to the U.S. In American Max was trained at the Art Students League, Pratt Institute, and the School of Visual Arts, all in New York. After closing his design studio in 1964, Peter began creating his characteristic paintings and graphic prints.
From visionary pop artist of the 1960's, to master of dynamic neo Expressionism, Peter Max and his vibrant colors have become part of the fabric of contemporary American culture. In the 1960's Max rose to youthful prominence with his now-famous "Cosmic '60s" style, a bold linear type of painting which employed Fauvist use of color and depicted transcendental themes. Peter Max revolutionized art of the 60’s just as the Beatles transformed the music of the decade. As his expressionistic style evolved, becoming more sensuous and painterly, Max’s unique symbolism and vibrant color palette have continued to inspire new generations of Americans throughout the decades. Peter Max is a passionate environmentalist and defender of human and animal rights, often dedicating paintings and posters for these noteworthy causes. He has celebrated our nation's principles of freedom and democracy with his famous paintings of American icons of freedom including Lady Liberty and the American Flag.
Peter Max has received many important commissions including the creation of the first "Preserve the Environment" Postage Stamp commemorating the World's Fair in Spokane, Washington; 235 Border Murals at entry points to Canada and Mexico commissioned by the U.S. General Services; and a painting of each of the 50 states, resulting in a book, "Peter Max Paints America" in celebration of the Bicentennial. In 1981 he was invited by President and Mrs. Reagan to paint six Liberty portraits at the White House. Max has painted for five U.S. Presidents - Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush and Clinton. Max has exhibited in over 40 international museums and over 50 galleries, worldwide. His work can be found in many prominent museum and private collections around the world.
In 1981 he painted six liberty portraits for the America President and Mrs. Reagan, and in 1993, his famous ‘100 Clintons’ installation. Max has painted for five American presidents; Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, and Clinton.
Max has had approximately forty museum shows internationally, and more than fifty gallery shows worldwide. His works appear in the prominent collections of many museums, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York.