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Decade's Best!

"Decade's Best" - International Poster Gallery

vintage poster, "Inauguration du Printemps" by Cappiello

Muller-Brockmann, Juni-Festwochen

We are proud to announce the celebration of our 10th Anniversary with an exhibition of "Poster Bests" from each decade since the art form's first flowering in the Belle Epoque. The exhibition opens with classic posters from the decade of the 1890s, which is often called the Golden Age of the Poster. Along with timeless images from Steinlen, Mucha, and Toulouse-Lautrec, there are travel posters by Hugo D'Alesi and numerous miniature plates from the Maitres de l'Affiche.

One of the show's highlights represents the first decade of the new century. A previously unknown and undocumented image, Cappiello's poster for Printemps Department Store, is perhaps the most beautiful Parisian scene in poster art. With the magnificent galleries aglow on a cloudless summer night, three elegant ladies look down upon the crowd-filled boulevards from a nearby balcony. The poster reveals Cappiello at his most elegant, in the manner of his grand posters for the Mele Department Store of 1901 to 1904.

Another highlight of the show, which harks back to the Gallery's early exhibitions of Italian posters, is Giuseppe Riccobaldi's 1935 moonlit poster for Fiat's new model 1500. Here a streamlined red car streaks down the Appian Way in a Futurist-inspired blur. Perhaps more than any other poster, it unites the glory of the Roman past with the promise of a brilliant technological future.

The post-war section of the show is dominated by the contributions of the Swiss, who became the world leaders in graphic design. The Forties are amply represented by several Swiss Object Posters, including the 1941 Swiss Poster of the Year award-winning Bi-Oro from Niklaus Stoecklin. This style, with its hyper-realistic focus on the product, created stunning visual effects and was a fitting end to the lithographic poster, which was phased out primarily due to its high cost.

The Fifties are dominated by the relaxed humor of Herbert Leupin in Switzerland, Raymond Savignac in France, and Paul Rand in the U.S., and several of their posters are included. The International Typographic Style, created by the Swiss in the Fifties but dominant for decades, is represented by Armin Hofmann and Josef Mueller-Brockmann, its two primary masters. The show concludes with several selections from the Sixties to today from Milton Glaser, David KleinWolfgang Weingart, Rosemarie Tissi, and Ralph Schraivogel

Since its opening, International Poster Gallery has gained a reputation for its world-class collection of original vintage posters. Owner James Lapides has written extensively on posters and is widely recognized as an expert in the field. "The last ten years have been incredibly enjoyable for me personally," Lapides comments. "We have drawn many new collectors to the poster field and added to the wealth of information available on posters and graphic design. We have been particularly pleased with exhibitions produced in cooperation with the Massachusetts College of Art, the French Library in Boston, and our work with other educational organizations and museums."