New York, Sep 23 : Before the arrival of internet, travel posters were a colourful medley of words and visuals. They spoke of far-away lands with a new found sense of adventure, which was heightened by the 20th century boom of cruise ships, railways and airlines.

Kapoor Galleries Inc in New York City currently has on display an array of such 20th century posters created to entice potential travellers to the mysteries of the Indian subcontinent.

The exhibition titled 'Images of the Exotic: Posters of India from the Golden Age of Travel' is open till September 27.

Ranging from the 1930s to 1970, these posters were issued by commercial aviation companies to market destinations to elite travellers, and featured monuments as well as "native" people to generate interest in the newly available travel routes.

"The images boast of lush Kashmir landscapes and snowy northern regions like Kanchenjunga and contrast the vast natural resources of India with exciting urban events grounded in tradition such as the rathyatra at Puri.

"The other works included in the exhibition employ sculpture and architecture as an aspect of intrigue to the travellers. A print published and circulated by the Government of India depicts two Indian women on an intricately covered terrace overlooking the Taj Mahal, placing the viewers in the foreground as if they too were experiencing the vista on the same terrace," the gallery said in its note about the exhibition.

While a majority of these prints were designed by unidentified artists, a few are attributed to American artist David Klein, Danish artist Otto Nielsen and the Swiss artist Donald Brun.

A small and interesting selection of posters can also be viewed online on the Kapoor Galleries Inc website.

(Siddhi Jain can be contacted at siddhi.j@ians.in)

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