Tuesday, June 16, 2009


We see posters in store windows, stapled to lamp-posts, tacked up on bulletin boards, put up in libraries and living rooms, taped to to walls and windows (providing of course we are not talking about flyers!) published in books, and occasionally we see excellent posters framed and exhibited.

Posters are of course a 2-dimensional medium, and rarely is it, that a poster has not been reproduced in multiple numbers. This is not a one-of-a-kind art form.

Posters have a particular beauty in that they 'most always combine a picture, an illustration, a painting, or a photograph, with text of some description. Script. A Font. A Hand. An Alphabet. Calligraphy. This text can run right across the picture, or placed at the top, or there at the bottom, and in various sizes and/or colors, depending on the impact desired. This is not a medium that is rarely seen, nor which requires the viewer to enter a museum to see.

However the most charming posters - the originals - are only visible in the museums, and were done by Toulouse LaTrec during the middle of the 19th century, I believe it was in France: all his lettering was filled in and done by hand, and has a lovely elegant quality.


  1. Now you are talking. Posters are big in our family. The Great Poster Boom of the late 60's in San Francisco is the heart of our collection. Posters take a lot more than the artwork itself. The production of a poster includes hiring the artist, deciding on size, type of paper, number of copies a few more choices, like having handbills. Some of the posters produced by the Straight Theater www.thestraight.com are selling for $500 to thousands. There is a handbill only, no posters, of Prez Johnson and Mao hugging. It just sold on eBay for 6k. They were worthless pieces of paper 40 years ago, when we collected several. There is an excellent article about the Straight's posters on the above website. Posters are art for the masses.

  2. I forgot to mention, There is a huge San Francisco Poster Exposition/reunion this week in the Golden Gate park. One day only Sat, June 21st, 2009. Several partners of The Straight Theater will be there - as they usually are.

  3. Sorry, I keep thinking of more. The calligraphy in posters from my era is always hand done and most often created by the artist. Some of the most creative Decorative Calligraphy ever!

  4. Katey, have you put the announcement about the Exposition at Golden Gate Park on your Facebook page? I think if you put it there there are many who might see it......and you better be quick, because it is only two days away.......!