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Object Timeline

1963

  • Work on this object began.

2004

  • We acquired this object.

2019

  • You found it!

Drawing, Parade with Banners and Floats, 1963

This is a Drawing. It was created by John Rombola. It is dated 1963 and we acquired it in 2004. Its medium is brush and gouache. It is a part of the Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design department.

This original gouache drawing accompanies screen prints for a "car card" project commissioned by radio station WPAT in 1962. "Car card" is a term coined by the New York Transit Advertising Commission and refers to the advertisement or public service announcements that adorn the interiors of subway cars above the windows. In addition to announcing public events and advertising consumer goods, the Transit Commission, in collaboration with radio stations, realized that colorful images of New York attractions could help create a positive impression of the city for natives and tourists alike. To that end, a number of well-respected graphic artists and illustrators were commissioned to create these images.
John Rombola is a graphic designer and illustrator as well as a designer of wallcoverings and textile designs. His work is held in collections including the Brooklyn Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Fashion Institute of Technology. When the car card project was undertaken, Rombola’s colorful, loose, and splashy illustrations had come to epitomize New York style.
Characterized by bright, firework-like reds, oranges, yellows, and golds, these designs express an exuberance that recalls the dazzle and sophistication of popular movies, novels, and book covers from the 1950s to the mid-1960s—an era when New York was associated with splendor and elegance and people flocked to such films as Breakfast at Tiffany’s, (the 1961 film directed by Blake Edwards, based on the 1958 novella by Truman Capote) and every woman wanted to be its heroine, Holly Golightly. These drawings and posters feature distinguished New York architectural landmarks, notably the Huntington Hartford Building at 2 Columbus Circle by Edward Durell Stone (1958–59), The Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center by Phillip Johnson (1962–64), and The New York Public Library building by Carrère and Hastings (1897–1911). Other notable city icons, including Central Park, Coney Island, and the Statue of Liberty, are illustrated in Rombola’s exuberant style.
The drawing under consideration for acquisition would join other drawings related to the car card project in the museum’s collection, as well as examples of Rombola’s designs for wallcoverings.
(October 25, 2004)

This object was donated by John Rombola. It is credited Gift of John Rombola.

Its dimensions are

Overall: 27.9 x 106.7 cm (11 x 42 in.)

Cite this object as

Drawing, Parade with Banners and Floats, 1963; John Rombola (American, b. 1933); brush and gouache; Overall: 27.9 x 106.7 cm (11 x 42 in.); Gift of John Rombola; 2004-14-1

If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18701057/ |title=Drawing, Parade with Banners and Floats, 1963 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=22 August 2019 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>