“Where every minute has pleasure in it.”
This and numerous other creative slogans have been used over the years to describe and sell the ideal Catalina Island vacation.
The evolution of advertising Catalina as a tourist destination—from the 1890s to the 1990s—is fully explored in the Catalina Island Museum’s current exhibition, “Destination Paradise: 100 Years of Catalina Advertising Design.”
Compiled almost exclusively from the museum’s permanent collection, this popular exhibition documents how Catalina Island’s owners, businesses and the passenger service companies endlessly experimented in branding the island as paradise within reach.
Nearly all of the island’s advertising has centered around Avalon, its attractions and its protective harbor famous for its clear and sparkling waters.
According to the museum, the most beloved pieces in the exhibition are the colorful brochures and ads from the 1920s and ’30s designed to showcase Catalina’s various activities including golf, horseback riding, water sports and its attractions, the famous Casino, the Bird Park aviary, Country Club and more.
The billboard and poster designs created by Otis and Dorothy Shepard are also of particular interest as no other artists branded the island like they did.
Through their Early California Plan, based on the state’s early Mexican and Native American influences, the two designers brought a cohesive look to the entire island.
The designers used little text and instead relied on simple yet highly designed airbrushed graphics of birds from the Bird Park, happy people on Summit Trip bus tours and sea lions reachable by boat.
The Shepard’s also were responsible for creating character ambassadors including the Saludos Girl, a Mexican flower girl, and a Polynesian beauty who embodied the South Pacific feel of the island.
Destination Paradise provides a fascinating overview of advertising trends as well as 100 years of documentation that appeals to maritime and air vessel enthusiasts, lovers of fashion, architecture and historians of all kinds.
Now in its final weeks, the exhibition will close at 5 p.m. on April 22, 2018.
The Catalina Island Museum offers the best in art and history exhibitions, music and dance performances, lectures by guest speakers from all over the world, and the finest in silent, documentary and international film.
Open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., except New Year’s Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.
The new Ada Blanche Wrigley Schreiner Building is located in the heart of Avalon at 217 Metropole Ave.
For more information, call the museum at 310-510-2414 or visit CatalinaMuseum.org.