The advent of international aviation and the ‘jet age’ of the late 1950s and 1960s put cheaper, quicker long-distance travel within reach of many people. In response, Australia launched an eye-catching poster campaign to sell its exotic attractions – sun, sand, surf and a unique array of fauna and flora.
Many Australian travel posters were commissioned by the Australian National Travel Association (ANTA), established on 1 July 1929, “to place Australia on the world’s travel map and keep it there”. Bright, attractive and enticing, these posters were extremely effective in encouraging visitors to sample our sunny shores and vast, mysterious outback.
Some of the era’s most innovative artists created works for the poster campaign which have subsequently become highly-desirable collectables. One of the standout artists was Eileen Mayo, who produced a magnificent series of posters during the 1950s.
Born in England, Mayo’s training included a period under Henry Moore at Chelsea Polytechnic. She migrated to Australia in 1952 where her work included murals, tapestries, stamps and posters, many featuring native wildlife.
Issued in 1957, Mayo’s AUSTRALIA poster portrayed a bold image of a kangaroo with its joey in a remote outback landscape.
In what describes the objective of many of these works of art, the Powerhouse Museum says it “illustrates the designer and client’s interest in referencing Australia’s unique fauna and landscapes as a dramatic and appealing aspect of Australian culture and identity.”
The Perth Mint is delighted to have been granted permission to reproduce Eileen Mayo’s iconic work on the first coin in a new series featuring Australian vintage travel posters.
Issued as Australian legal tender, this rectangular-shaped release is struck from 1oz of 99.9% pure silver in proof quality.Assuring collectability, no more than 5,000 of these superb coins will be issued by The Perth Mint. Accompanied by a numbered Certificate of Authenticity, each coin is housed in a latex case displaying both its reverse and obverse design.
Credit: Eileen Mayo
Australia (Kangaroo) 1957
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
Gift of Margaret MacKean-Taylor 1993