November 30, 2001 through January 20, 2002
Celebrate the season with our 8th Annual Holiday Show, Poster Masters of the Belle Epoque, featuring original Art Nouveau masterpieces large and small, 1890 to 1910.
The 1890s, known as the Belle Epoque, or "Beautiful Epoch", were the heyday of the poster. Several fine artists such as Pierre Bonnard, Edouard Vuillard, and Toulouse Lautrec were attracted to poster design. Lautrec's first poster, Moulin Rouge, created an instant sensation in 1891. In 1894, Alphonse Mucha, a Czech working in Paris, created the first masterpiece of Art Nouveau poster design. Bearing the influence of the Pre-Raphaelites, the Arts and Crafts Movement, and Byzantine art, this style was to dominate the Parisian scene for the next ten years and to become the major international decorative art movement up until World War I.
The 8th Annual Holiday Poster Show features such rare and outstanding Art Nouveau examples as Job (1898) and Moet Chandon (1899), by Mucha, as well as posters by Privat Livemont, who has been called the "Mucha" of Belgium. Privat Livemont's outstanding posters for Rajah (1889), Bitter Oriental (1897), and Absinthe Robette (1896), are included. A fine artist who only created a few posters, Pierre Bonnard, is represented by his striking poster for L'Estampe et l'Affiche (1897), an artistic and literary journal of the day.
Highlighted in the show is the complete "Maitres de L'Affiche", or "Masters of the Poster", 1895-1900, an original series of 256 of the greatest posters of the Belle Epoque, rendered in portfolio size. These smaller-scale lithographic treasures were published by Jules Cheret and include posters by 97 artists including Toulouse-Lautrec, Mucha, Bonnard, Livemont, Parrish, Bradley, and Hohenstein.
View more Belle Epoque posters here