In this poster Arthur Thompson (1915 – 1997) plays on Tahiti’s reputation as a mysterious and exotic destination, complete with beautiful women. Tahiti was the final stop on TEAL’s Coral Route - a romantic island hop from Auckland to Papeete. The name ‘Coral Route’ came from a TEAL staff competition. Head steward Eric Mullane’s winning entry was inspired by the beauty of coral islands and of Pacific people’s song-filled (‘choral’) receptions for their visitors. At Papeete, disembarking passengers were greeted with the dance ‘Soirée de TEAL’.
In the 1950s, Thompson worked for TEAL (Tasman Empire Airways Limited), the forerunner of Air New Zealand. Exotic, colourful designs enticed travellers onto TEAL’s flights to glamorous destinations across the Pacific.
Thompson was a commercial artist who worked in New Zealand and Britain. He studied at the Elam School of Fine Arts and in the 1960s had a successful career as a costume and set designer for film and television.
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