Century of Celebrations

An artistic remembrance of a cherished winter tradition at Dartmouth College.

Peruse the posters that advertised Dartmouth's Winter Carnival over the years and you can see the event's evolution from a simple skiing competition in 1911 to the current three days of sports and partying that's been dubbed the "Mardi Gras of the North" - the stylized skiers or skaters in the early posters give way to more fantastical renderings of the pop culture themes of recent years.

The collection of artistically pleasing posters - there's one for every year from 1935 on - is presented for the first time in the book, "Winter Carnival: A Century of Dartmouth Posters" [Dartmouth College Press, 2010, $45]. There are also dance cards, programs and other ephemera from the missing (posterless?) years of 1912 to 1934.

Adding context and weight to the artwork are essays by those who have been touched in some way by Winter Carnival. (The story about F. Scott Fitzgerald's mostly drunken visit to the campus is one of the more memorable.)

Even if you're not a Dartmouth alum, the visual feast the posters provide make the book one worth buying.

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