September 24, 2013

Christmas Came Early!


Panorama of Oglethorpe University Museum of Art

Each year we work with partners to showcase our original Coca-Cola Santa paintings by Haddon Sundblom.  The paintings have been displayed at locations as diverse as museums like the Louvre in Paris and the Royal Ontario in Canada to malls in Japan and China and even the home Cracker Barrel in Tennessee!  This year, the Santa's will be on display at Oglethorpe University Museum of Art in Atlanta Georgia and the Louisville Slugger Museum in Louisville, Kentucky.  While the Louisville exhibit will not open until closer to Christmas, the Oglethorpe show opened a few weeks ago and will be up through December 8th.  We visited last week and I tried to capture the gallery in a panorama, I can assure you the show looks much better in person.  If you are visiting Atlanta and want to support a great local museum, make plans to visit Oglethorpe before it closes.  ^TR

September 23, 2013

Andy Warhol and Coca-Cola

Warhol Photographs

Andy Warhol was the father of the Pop Art movement and began painting his famous series of Coca-Cola bottles in the early 1960s.  While we do not have any of those items in our collection, (the last one sold at auction for more than 35 million dollars!) we do have a selection of Coca-Cola related Warhol material from later in his career.  Last week I installed a small exhibit in our office complex featuring two sets of Warhol material - items created about New Coke and a selection of photographs.

Andy Warhol discovered photography later in his career and by the time of his death, had over 50,000 photographs in his collection.  Warhol took a camera with him everywhere he went capturing the personalities he met at The Factory or out on the town.  Each night, he would have the negatives developed and the next day would select the images he wanted printed.  One print would be made and marked with Warhol’s stamp on the back. This selection of photographs shows the variety of scenes where Coca-Cola was present in Warhol’s daily routine.

Warhol Screenprint

On April 23, 1985, The Coca-Cola Company introduced New Coke and for 79 days endured protest, negative PR, grass roots campaigns and even lawsuits to bring back the original formula.  Time Magazine asked Warhol to depict New Coke as potential cover art for a story on the episode.  These elements show the creative process Warhol employed to create the art.  He poured Coca-Cola on art paper to get a proper spill and took the Polaroid's of the cans to capture that effect.  The finished art is a screenprint on museum board.  In the end, Time opted to not use the art.

While these items are can only be seen at our headquarters building, I am hoping to be able to create a traveling exhibit to make them available to a broader audience.  ^TR

January 14, 2013

Coca-Cola Collector Russell Clayton and Athos Menaboni

Robert Woodruff's 44-year Menaboni Christmas Card Collection
Robert Woodruff's 44-year Menaboni Christmas Card Collection

I recently met one of the original members of the Coca-Cola Collectors Club – Russell Clayton. Coca-Cola Chairman Robert W. Woodruff once wrote in a letter to Russell, “you certainly qualify as one of our “biggest fans””. Russell tells us in this video how he started collecting Coke memorabilia, and how his admiration for Coca-Cola’s Robert Woodruff ultimately made him take interest in the artwork of Athos Menaboni, the Italian-born artist who created hand-painted artwork for the Coca-Cola Company airplane and also painted a bird for Woodruff’s Christmas card for 44 consecutive years. Menaboni did a poster for Coca-Cola in 1951 called “Play Refreshed”, and also created the birds for the 1959 Coca-Cola “American Birds” home calendar.

You can also read Russell’s history of Woodruff’s Menaboni Christmas card collection at this link.

October 26, 2012

Thirst Knows No Season

It is a beautiful sunny fall-like Friday afternoon here in Atlanta, so I took a long walk in from the parking deck.  I have always loved this "zodiac" sculpture near the parking deck.  While I am not sure how many of our employees even know why this sculpture is on our campus or what it stands for, I will share the answer with you. This sculpture used to be part of the exterior frieze over the doorway of The Atlanta Coca-Cola Bottling Company.  The zodiac imagery was used to indicate that Coke was the drink for all seasons.  When the bottling plant was torn down, the Company salvaged the sculpture and had it installed at our headquarters.  If you are ever lucky enough to visit Coca-Cola HQ, make sure to take a walk out by the parking lots to check it out. ^TR
August 28, 2012

National Bow Tie Day!

August 28th is National Bow Tie Day, and we have to celebrate.  I love bow ties. They add a touch of whimsy better than an otherwise boring necktie.  I just saw an gallery of 25 famous bow tie wearers and it was an interesting crowd including Krusty the Clown,  Groucho Marx, Winston Churchill, Pee-wee Herman and my favorite, the 11th Doctor Who.  I did a quick search in our collection and found an interesting array of advertising art featuring bow ties.  I hope you enjoy the photo album, and remember, as Doctor Who says, "bow ties are cool." ^TR
June 19, 2012

Modeling Mark Ronson's Jacket

Photo 13 Photo 15I blogged earlier about receiving the jacket Mark Ronson wore in the London Olympic Games ad, and received several request via our facebook page and twitter feed to try it on and upload some photos.  Sadly, it is a bit small for me, but Justine Fletcher and Carrie Brown both looked splendid!  
June 07, 2012

New Coca-Cola Exhibit by artist David Clayman

The newest exhibit in the Pop Culture Gallery at the World of Coca-Cola features the work of artist David Clayman . In the exhibit, Clayman interprets the iconic Coca-Cola bottle in a collection of fifteen original abstract wood constructions, each ornamented with handcrafted wood elements that create vibrant abstract designs. This video from 11Alive Atlanta gives great insight into the 86-year old artist and his work.

February 23, 2012

Coke and the Movies

Movie Popcorn BagOur Coca-Cola Great Britain website recently launched a section that highlighted movies or television programming that had some of our products featured.  It is a pretty interesting list and made me wonder what older movies had a Coke presence.  I visited the Harley Davidson Museum several  years ago and they had a great section on all the movies with Harley's, and when we were building the World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta, we considered creating a film reel with many of the scenes, but could not get the rights to the clips. If we could get the rights to any movies we wanted, what film clips with Coca-Cola would you like to see?  I will start, I would want:
  • Dr. Strangelove - the scene where they shoot the vending machine to get the change
  • The Gods Must Be Crazy- Coke bottle from the sky
  • Independence Day - Scene where they tries to shoot the Coke can with the shield up
What movies can you think of?
November 22, 2011

Coke Crossword Puzzle Answers

Thanks to everyone who tested their skills on our Coca-Cola Crossword Puzzle from 1925. Below, you will find the image of the original crossword puzzle art from our collection, which was also run as the puzzle solution in the April 15, 1925 isse of The Red Barrel. Hopefully, you got all the answers right!

Coca-Cola Crossword Puzzle from The Red Barrel April 1925 -- ANSWER

August 16, 2011

Coke On The Road

5976403131_8990f87979_b When I travel, I always note and quite often stop to photograph old Coke signs or vending equipment I run across.  As I was leaving Mt. Rainier National Park while on vacation recently, I saw a great Coke sign to add to the collection.  I could not help but notice the iron statutes all over the yard as I got out of the car to take the photograph.  It turns out I had stumbled across Ex-Nihilo, the outdoor sculpture park for Recycled Spirits of Iron by artist Dan Klennert.   I enjoyed the artwork and would have loved to have stayed longer, but after a day of hiking the mountain, it was time to move on.  If your travels ever take you to Washington State, take a side trip down State Road 706 to enjoy the art, and, as Dan says, "Welcome into my imagination, please wipe your feet."

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