Archive for October, 2009

Half way there…..

October 25, 2009

Hey guys,

Hope you all are having a good weekend. I was wondering if you guys would have a few minutes to stay after Allan’s class Tuesday to discuss where we are and how to go about the presentation and the paper. I’m gonna finish up American Poster Art of the early 19th century. I’ve traced back to the Japanese prints, so maybe we can research the history of printmaking (Ian you might know a good bit about that already) to cover the pre-French Poster Art time period, and then start on the more contemporary stuff. I think the major points we still need to hit are the Polish posters, travel posters, early Hollywood movie posters, and the 60’s Fillmore/pschyadelic music posters. If anyone has some stuff they’d like to add to that, just post. I’ll start drafting some paragraphs on what we’ve covered, post it, and we can all begin to edit together. Hope  to see you guys Tuesday.



“The Art Nouveau Tradition in Europe,” Max Gallo, pages 303-304

October 20, 2009

“The style variously called liberty, art nouveau, and Jugendstil [literally translated as ‘youth style’] was a phenomenon that emerged across Europe.  it led to a substantial change in the relationship of words and images in posters, and except in France it dominated the culture of Europe for fifteen years, spanning the turn of the century.” p. 303

Artists who represent the style in England: William Morris (1834-96), Aubrey Beardsley (1872-98)

In Scotland: Margaret Macdonald (1865-1933), Frances Macdonald (1874-1921), Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868-1928)

In France: Alphonse Marie Mucha (1860-1939)

Alphonse Marie Mucha

In Belgium: Jan De Velde (1863-1957)

In Austria: Gustave Klimt (1862-1918)

Gothic lettering had a massive effect on poster illustration at this point.

Gothic Lettering

William Morris was influenced by 15th century Flemish manuscript decorations

Agricultural workers in the manor fields, English c 1390s

In the beginning, Mucha designed his posters in the tradition of Cheret.

“The most inventive contributors to the Jugendstil were [Jan] Toorop and [Henry] van de Velde…In van de Velde’s very famous poster for Tropon (1899) the illustration is ambiguous and allusive, almost as abstract as a trademark, while the inscription is explicit.  The Jugendstil is a far cry from the realism of French posters at the end of the nineteenth  century.”

Intro to Poster Art in America

October 17, 2009

American Posters Intro

Edward Penfield- Harper’s mag- depicted middle-upper class person reading leisurely

Will H. Bradley

genuinely loved part of american culture> increased literacy, mass publication, print technology

urban expansion, better standards of living> better educated > literacy circles and book clubs formed

magazines target audience shifted from aristocrat to man on the street when prices lowered (35 cents to 10 cents)

publishers took on social causes  and reforms as primary editorial thrust

interests of constantly growing younger audience

artists & publishers> arts & crafts could serve general populace (regardless of financial or social background) & become widely available

John Ruskin & William Morris- idealistic philosophy of raising standard of living by doing away with social/environmental inequities> comfortable, healthy

art?strong curative powers; English born Louis Rhead (American poster artist)

poster as the poor man’s art gallery, could enrich everyday life “moral aspect of the artistic poster”

demographic, philosophic, aesthetic factors + growth of natn’l advertising & marketing + new technology: photo-mechanical halftone printing = “unparalleled increase in the printing of magazines and popular novels”> result: advertising and promotional posters for material> mass market publications promoted visually & enrich owner’s life and home

By 1896, Will M. Clemens noted: demand for posters so high in U.S., 20 establishment specializing in poster production, $3,000,000 capital invested , 100 draughtsmen & designers + 500 more artists for reproduction employed by poster producers

“all progressive art stores have poster displays”

Lautrec’s Japanese Influences

October 17, 2009
HokusaiColor Woodcut Print, 7.6" x 6.7"

Color Woodcut Print, 7.6" x 6.7"

KatsukawaWoodblock print, 12.2" x 5.5"

Woodblock print, 12.2" x 5.5"

Woodblock print, 14.5" x 9.5"

Woodblock print, 14.5" x 9.5"

Kitagawa Utamaroinfluence of Lautrec, color woodblock print

influence of Lautrec, color woodblock print

Toulouse-Lautrec Posters

October 16, 2009

color lithograph, 75" x 46"

color lithograph, 75" x 46"

Color lithograph, 1896

Color lithograph, 1896

color lithograph, 51" x 37"

color lithograph, 51″ x 37″

lithograph, 55.6" x 38.7"

lithograph, 55.6″ x 38.7″

Jane Avril, 1899

“The Origins, from Cheret to Toulousse-Lautrec,” summarized.

October 9, 2009

“The Origins, from Cheret to Toulousse-Lautrec,” an excerpt from The Poster In History, p.297 by Max Gallo is here summarized:

“The development of the poster can be examined in terms of masterpieces created by renowned artists; or— and this approach is more relevant to the times—it can be examined in terms of the artistic problems presented by two characteristics peculiar to poster: the marriage of images and word, and the possibility of duplicating a given poster an infinite number of times.”

Later, the worth of posters rose with the advent of poster collectors.  First prints and artist proofs were treated like paintings.

“…there is not mush point in seeking the antecedents of the poster in the heraldic banners of Ancient Egypt or processional flags of Pompeii.  More relevant to its development are the notices and proclamations that began to appear on public walls after the invention of printing.”

In the second half of the 19th century the industrial revolution created a consumer economy.  The role of posters was to sell and persuade.


The narratrive poster made in France by Cheret and Lautrec.

The symbolic art nouveau poster prevalent in England, Austira, and Germany.

Les Chats, 1868, Edouard Manet, was the first poster for the J. Rothschild publishing house.  This image does not truly demonstrate the rapport between word and image.  Instead it illustrates the title of the book being advertised.

Edouard Manet

Edouard Manet

“…the origin of the pictoral poster is to be found both in a new function of illustration and in the emergence of a new kind of audience.  Poster illustrations derived from the kind of public waas composed of the middle and lower-middle classes, which flocked to the boulevard theaters of Paris.”

In the last decade of the nineteenth century, Lautrec and Cheret created a revolution in poster design.

Cheret (1836-1932) drew directly onto the Lithograph stone.  He created a new style that combined text and image in a unique way while concentrating on theater posters.  May have been inspired by the circus posters.

Jules Cheret

Jules Cheret

For Cheret, illustrating typography was the most important factor and what made him stand out, even when he took up artistic influence from Lautrec.  “…He came to make the words themselves into illustrations.” p. 299

Cheret’s originality was in his presentation rather than his influences (Giambattista, Giandomenico, Tiepolo, Watteau).  His work is characteristic of strong colors, bold lines, foreshortened figures in the foreground and a sketched background.  He quoted motifs from Lautrec later in his career such as a shadowy background figure and diagonal composition.

Lautrec (1864-1901) was inspired by Japanese woodcuts, Vincent Van Gogh and Paul Gaugin.  His work had more of a vocus on the illustration and the characteristics of the figures rather than the text.  His work had characteristic flat colors and foreshortening.  Created posters for La Revue Blanche and the night club Divan Japonais.

“Toulouse-Lautrec’s genius is diverse, not because he was an ‘artist’ but because he created a synthetic, revolutionary means of telling a story that was much more advanced than that being proposed in contemporary painting.” p. 301

Bonnard’s posters are “rather ordinary.”

Posters by important painters the author chooses to mention: Felix Vallotton’s La Pepiniere (before 1894); Maurice Denis’ La Depeche de Toulouse (1895); Jaques Villon’s Maggie Berck (1904); and Theophile Alexandre Steinlen (1859-1923).

Theophile Alexandre Steinlen is best known for Tournee du Chat Noir (1868). He is the link between Cheret and Toulouse-Lautrec.  His work was somewhat clumsy but quintessentially French without giving into the developing Art Nouveau style.

Steinlen’s posters became banal and marked the end of the “great ‘cultural’ moment of the French poster.”

Toulouse Lautrec

October 9, 2009

color lithograph, 75" x 46"

color lithograph, 75" x 46"


Henri de Toulouse Lautrec


from book: Scenes of the Night

born into an aristocratic family in Albi

his mother & father were first cousins, probably related to his dwarfism- weak & sickly from birth- minor falls in early life resulting in 2 broken bones that kept him from growing to full height

strained relationship with father, who was an enthusiast of sports and falconry, which Henri could not participate in bc of his handicap- father was amateur painter and draftsman

settled and worked at Montmarte, France

Montmarte:  Moulin Rouge, Mirliton, and Moulid de la Galette, Chat Noir


The Players: 

Aristide Braunt- singer/composer- opened cabaret Mirliton on the site of the Chat Noir founded by Roudolphe Salis that moved to larger premises

performers of Mirliton included: Nini the Tart, Rosa the Red

Braunt threatened to not perform at Theatre des Ambassadeurs if owner Pierre Ducarre did not accept Lautrec’s poster concept for show- this portrait/poster gained recognition for poster as genuine art form

middle class & aristocratic audience- thrilled to be in low company

famous painting (large scale) “Chilperic”  featured dancer Marcelle Lender

Jane Avril (Jane Avril and Divan Japonais)- intimate w in 1890; tremendous energy- nicknamed 


stage lighting – cast shadows of actors upward, exaggerating facial features (caricature), gestures & postures, silhouettes stood out


1890- peak of his career: finest of his paintings produced, best known posters, & took up lithography


Moulin Rouge: 1st poster done by Jules Cheret (called “The Tiepolo of double colombier” [old paper format used for papers] by critic Felix Feneon)- featured windmill “jaunty woman miller”

Lautrec commissioned to do 2nd poster by MR owner Charles Zidler. TL had different approach than Cheret- showed one of stars La Goulue dancing w audience in silhouette (inspired by shadowpuppets & Japanese Prints) & partially-silhoutted portrait of Valentin le Desosse {Lawyers son, passion for dancing} in foreground

posters all over Paris & snatched up by collectors- offensive to the Academie bc of top 

The Academie vs. Cafe Life

critic Felix Feneon in anarchist magazine Le Pere Peinard on Lautrec’s 1st Moulin Rouge Poster:

urged readers to tear the finest posters off the walls of Paris and thus “get hold of paintings with a bit more zip than the dismal daubs that look as if they’re done in licorice juice that so delight the cognoscenti arseholes.”


First Prints:

photography- art lovers became interested in original artists prints as opposed to engraved reproductions of paintings

Lautrec built rep for printmaking – “boldness matched by technical mastery”


Japanese Influence:

Kitagawa Utamaro 1753-1806), Shunsho Katsukawa (1726-92), Hokusai Katsushika (1760 – 1849)


(to be continued)

Coles Phillips

October 9, 2009
WWI ad - U.S. Fuel Admin., 1917

WWI ad - U.S. Fuel Admin., 1917


  • Coles Phillips 1880 -1927 – Springfield Ohio, lower middle class
  • was 1st to introduce Art Deco styles into advertising design
  • Saturday Evening Post with very modern and seductively designed women
  • first pin-up girl- Fadeaway girl
  • 1907 and 1927- one of most popular illustrators in nation (contemporaries were leyendecker and flagg)
  • Kenyon College 1902- college’s monthly magazine was first publication -dropped out junior yr to go to NYC
  • American Radiator- fired after found caricature of the boss > same night story told to Life publisher J.A.Mitchell- saw cartoon, asked to meet Phillips> job offer- declined to take art lessons
  • hired as staff artist few years later- immediately popular w Life audience
  • Fadeaway Girl – girl linked cleverly to background color – illusion of figure coming forward and receding simultaneously
  • had to study proportions of canvas, cover dimensions resulting final published, negative shapes and positive shapes had to be interchangeable
  •  advertising illustrations: Willys Overland Automobiles 
  • Spirit of Transportation competition- his entry impressed all w composition & use of pastels
  • other covers: Good HousekeepingColliersThe Ladies’ Home JournalMcCall’sSaturday Evening PostWomen’s Home CompanionLiberty
  • introduced more sexuality in advertising illustration w ‘Miss Sunburn’ Suntan lotion ad
  • probably influenced by Maxfield Parrish in composition, possibly technique (Jell-O ads & Community Silver for Oneida)
  • cerebral approach & design device- appealed to mass audience
  • close friends & neighbors w Leyendecker
  • died @ 47

National Museum of American Illustration

Vernon Court, 492 Bellevue Avenue, Newport, Rhode Island, 02840, USA

author of article  n/a

Adolphe Mouron Cassandre

October 9, 2009

Au_Bucheron1901-1968. Ukraine born. Pioneer of poster art. Studied and worked in Paris until 1934, moved to NYC until 1939, spent the remainder of his life in Paris.

His first major work was the Au Bucheron poster. He  cofounded the Alliance Graphique–an advertising agency with a distinct art-deco French style. Created first poster designed to be viewed from a moving vehicle for Dubonnet wine. Also invented the serial poster. Was known for designing his posters around typography.

Screen shot 2009-10-09 at 12.14.27 PM

Cassandre only used capital letters in his poster designs and is known most commonly for his rail and transatlantic travel posters.


Research Status

October 2, 2009

Hi everyone! Just thought I’d check in. I took out a couple books from the library that I’m now skimming over (not much on Coles Phillips available in print right now, but I’m looking at online sources.), most of which are talking about the time period we’re focusing on between the late 1800’s and early 1900’s in America, France, and other parts of the world. I had the intention of posting more images today, but my artstor account can’t be accessed remotely until I log in at the library, which I will be able to do sometime Tuesday. Until then, I will go over the texts that I have and possibly do some scanning. Also, does anyone know if we can organize the media library in any way? Perhaps by topic or illustrator? Just think it would benefit once we start getting more uploaded. Also, I added another page for notes, just so the main page wouldn’t get too jumbled -hope that’s ok. Please bare with me, I’m still trying to figure out wordpress, but it will come as the semester goes on I’m sure. See you all tomorrow on the trip!