One of the many ways humans express themselves with words and pictures, the poster has a long and storied history that begins in the early 19th century. Whether you are a collector of vintage posters, use them as marketing materials, or love to design custom pieces for friends and relatives, take a moment to learn a few fun facts from Queen Street Gallery. The celebrated Martinsburg, WV, art gallery sells vintage posters among many other antique mediums to keep area homes and businesses looking fantastic.
Art Gallery Shares the History of Posters
1. Started in Paris
The first poster was produced in Paris in 1866 by Jules Cheret, an artist who created color lithographic posters out of his home. While lithography had been invented in 1798 by the Austrian Alois Senefelder, posters depicting eye-catching everyday scenes was the brainchild of Cheret. He created more than 1,000 posters over a three-decade career.
2. ‘Moulin Rouge’ & The Art Craze That Followed
‘Moulin Rouge’ was the first poster created by the Toulouse-Lautrec company in 1891 and inspired an art craze that included exhibitions and catalogs with thousands of selections. These posters helped popularize the Art Nouveau movement.
3. Art Nouveau Poster Designs
Art Nouveau posters saturated the home design industry beginning in 1894 and found artists from different countries creating a variety of styles. Italian posters were known for drama, while German posters featured a medieval quality. Dutch posters, in comparison, were identified by their orderly appearance.
4. Posters as Political Propaganda
As the century turned and saw two world wars, posters became propaganda tools in the United States and abroad. The famous ‘I Want You For U.S. Army’ depicting a stern Uncle Sam has become a classic propaganda example, as has the ‘Rosie the Riveter’ image.
5. Art Deco & Beyond
Early modernism art also became synonymous with the 20th century and included a shift from Art Nouveau to the streamlined, more simplistic shapes of the Art Deco movement of the 1920s. The movie and travel industries harnessed poster power beginning in the late ‘20s to increase ticket prices, with the British railway following suit. Posters for event and concerts also became commonplace as the 20th century wore on.
Find captivating vintage posters at Queen Street Gallery. With a variety of artists and styles available in their art gallery, you’re sure to find something worth adding to your collection. Call (304) 263-9495 to learn more about their selection, or visit their website to see what is currently available.