You Wait Around For One Guus


The impeccable work of Guus Melai, including (above) one for 1953’s version of The Gathering.

Found on internet auction sites where an original Guus can fetch up to €500.

Guus was a member of the ‘Dutch School’, artists and designers from the Netherlands, who came to live in Ireland in the 1950s and 1960s because, cough, housing was cheaper.

From Alwaysreadthesmallprint Blog:

The ‘Dutch School’ as it came to be known included Guus Melai, Jan de Fouw, Bert van Embden, Willem van Velzen, Gerrit van Gelderen, Piet Sluis and [Irish text book cover maestro] Cor Klaasen, amongst others. Over the following decades they transformed Irish graphic design.”

Guus was so good his work was disliked by the Arts Council

Aer Lingus, 1956.

From the Arts Council archive:

It was decided that a letter should be sent by the Director to the General Manager of Aer Lingus informing him confidentially that the Council did not approve of the recently published Aer Lingus poster of Dublin by Dutch graphic artist Guus Melai as it did not consider it to be of artistic merit.  The General Manager of Aer Lingus thanked the Arts Council for its views but said ‘In commercial publicity there must be many compromises with sheer artistic merit’.


Thanks Sibling of Daedalus

14 thoughts on “You Wait Around For One Guus

  1. Limey Tank

    You know you’ve made it when the civil servants in charge of Art don’t like the Art you’re making.

  2. Brendan

    Was the complaint about the last picture? I thought that was the most beautiful. I’d love a higher-res version.

  3. halcyon days

    Genuine question (maybe I am too tired to get this): what does the ‘cough’ in “came to live in Ireland in the 1950s and 1960s because, cough, housing was cheaper” imply?

    1. A.Tomás

      Housing in the last couple of decades became ridiculously expensive, resulting in very recent problems.

  4. David Klaasen

    Wonderful to see these posters. The one with the view of Killiney strand and Bray Head is a favorite – magnificent play with perspective straight down to the beach and off to the distance. I wonder how the tutors at the College of Art felt about these upstarts. And it’s nice to know that for a time during the 1980’s Cor Klaasen was able to share some of the principles, concepts and ideas that influenced the Dutch School with a generation of young Irish designers while he was working as a lecturer in Dublin.

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