This November 7 through December 7, the Olympia Tumwater Foundation presents an art show featuring over 50 original advertising artworks produced for the Olympia Brewing Company during the 1930s through the 1950s. A similar show was held in 2017 and proved a great success. This fall’s show will feature paintings that were not displayed in 2017.
The paintings, averaging about 18” x 34”, were meant to be translated into billboards and had to be bold, simple, and eye-catching. The original paintings offer a unique glimpse into the art and advertising processes of the day. Completed long before computer technology, the works in the show were largely painted by hand.
After installation of the billboards, the original paintings were meant to be discarded. Luckily, Olympia brewery personnel saved the originals. These paintings were hidden away for decades, and are now in the archives of the Olympia Tumwater Foundation.
Interpretive text is displayed alongside each painting, and biographies of the artists are included when individual artists could be identified. Some artists were adept at painting bubbles in a glass of beer, while others excelled at painting faces, text, or landscapes. During World War II, when most of the experienced artists served in the military, less skilled artists painted simpler ads focusing on victory gardens, war bonds, and other contributions to the war effort.
The show is being held at the historic Schmidt House in Tumwater. Visitors can get a passport stamped at the art show, Tumwater craft breweries, and Tumwater’s Comfort Inn. Completed passports will be entered in drawings for prizes, including a free night’s stay at the Comfort Inn and gift baskets from area brewers.
It’s the Art! Olympia Beer Advertising Art Show 2019
November 7—December 7, 2019
10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursday-Friday-Saturday of each week (closed Thanksgiving Day)
The Schmidt House
330 Schmidt Place SW, Tumwater
Free (but donations are gratefully accepted!)
Olympia Tumwater Foundation
City of Tumwater Lodging Tax Advisory Committee