Affordable Classics: Posters for the New Collector at the International Poster Gallery, On View March 24 - April 30, 2015

  • BOSTON , Massachusetts
  • /
  • March 04, 2015

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Perceval (Atelier), Air France, 1948, Lithograph backed on linen, 24.2” x 39.2” unframed.
International Poster Gallery

BOSTON, MA - International Poster Gallery (IPG) proudly presents “Affordable Classics: Posters for the New Collector”, a show and sale of 50 original vintage posters under $2500 that reveal why the field remains one of the best for newcomers. The show features fine examples from several styles, subjects and eras to indicate the incredible breadth of opportunities for any budding collector or home decorator. Highly accessible, beautifully printed and designed, and often by world-leading artists, advertising posters have more than a 30 year track record of appreciation. 

A “New Collectors Night” opening is scheduled for Tuesday, March 24 from 5:30-7:30pm as part of the annual Boston Design Week, and is open to the public.  Learn why poster collecting remains one of the best new fields for new collectors and home decorators.  International Poster Gallery owner Jim Lapides will speaks on the Do’s and Don’ts of collecting original posters.  At the opening, a large selection of posters will be available at introductory prices available only in the gallery and not advertised online. To RSVP for the opening please visit 

International Poster Gallery is located at 205 Newbury Street in Boston and is open daily from 10am – 6pm and Sunday from noon – 6pm.  For additional information, please visit or call 617-375-0076.

While Belle Epoque poster classics by Toulouse-Lautrec and Alphonse Mucha were created as well as collected in the 1890s, the vintage poster market took off again in 1979 and quickly re-established the medium as a leading collectible. Originally conceived as ephemeral advertisements, posters that remain today are often unused survivors that were found in warehouses or the estate of a collector or artist. Many of these posters, like fine prints, were created as color lithographs, featuring rich, deep colors and varied textures that even today are unsurpassed in aesthetic appeal.

Vintage posters have many levels of meaning – they are art, commerce, and society all rolled into one, and their broad range of style and subject makes them desirable to any collector. 


Though their supply is dwindling and many rarities continue to establish record prices, even some as high as $250,000 and more, one can remarkably still buy a poster masterpiece even by great artists for under $2,500.  Of the five thousand items on the International Poster Gallery website, nearly 80% of them are in this range, with a majority of these under $1,000.  “It is a common misconception among newcomers that poster collecting is prohibitively expensive, but nothing could be further from the truth,” comments gallery owner Jim Lapides.  “I started just like my customers, so I understand the trepidation that can come with buying your first poster.  However, nothing is more satisfying than living with art that reflects your passions and interests.  We strive to help all of our clients create a unique and personal collection, no matter their level of experience in the field.”

6. Daniele Buzzi, Locarno, 1926, Lithograph backed on linen, 28” x 39.4”
International Poster Gallery

With the broadening of interest in poster worldwide due to the Internet, there are more areas than ever that are ripe for the new collector.  The show will highlight several of the most interesting areas.

Art Deco has never been more popular than today, from its earliest luxurious beginnings in France from about 1909 through the 1920s, to a modern streamlined and mechanistic style in the 1930s and 1940s.  A stunning example of French Art Deco is Charles Loupot’s Fourrures Canton. First issued in 1924, with color variations it was popular right up to its final edition in 1949.  With its masterful color lithography, the fur coat seems so soft it is hard to resist reaching out to touch it.  Another striking poster is the 1948 Atelier Perceval poster for Air France with a hippocampus, a mythical seahorse that was Air France’s logo, emerging from the reflections of the spinning airplane propeller.

A strong area of interest with many opportunities for new collectors is the Mid-Century style of the 1950s and 1960s.  The end of World War II brought with it a veritable poster bonanza that was fed by the Baby Boom and the rise of international consumer brands.  Two distinct styles emerged.  The first, which some today call “Madmen” style after the popular television series, was brightly colored and whimsical, designed to appeal to a broad audience.  One of the most successful series was created by California artist David Klein for TWA.  His ingenious poster for Las Vegas, 1957, is an iconic example of the hip “Ratpack” era.  Across the Atlantic, European such as Herbert Leupin and Donald Brun in Switzerland and Raymond Savignac in France also created memorable posters in this playful style for international brands such as Coca Cola and Perrier.   Another perennial 1960s favorite is the original poster for 3 Days of Peace & Music - Woodstock, 1969 by Arnold Skolnick.  Reproduced, reprinted and satirized hundreds of times, the original is a valuable collector’s item and hard to find.

10. Geo, Spa Citron, 1925, Lithograph backed on linen, 39” x 63”
International Poster Gallery

The other dominant Mid-Century style that emerged has been dubbed the International Typographic Style or Swiss Style.  More orderly and rational, often marked by little use of images and spare graphics, it often conveyed its message through the innovative use of typography.  One of the most notable series of posters in this style was created by the Swiss typographic master Josef Muller-Brockman for the chamber orchestra Musica Viva from the late 1950s through the early 1970s.

Travel and transportation posters from around the globe are another blockbuster poster category, and the gallery has over 1500 examples from the birth of the travel poster in the 1890s, through to the Art Deco era, Mid-Century and all the way up to the 2000s. Classic examples include Daniele Buzzi’s colorful poster for Locarno, 1926; Austin Cooper’s exotic design, See India, c. 1930; and The Largest Ships to and From California, 1929 by L. Wulff for Panama Pacific ocean liners. 

Product posters are always popular with new collectors, especially when decorating a kitchen, bar area or family room.  A wide selection are featured in the show including the Art Deco Camp Romain wines poster, 1930, by C. Gadoud; the 1925 Spa Citron by the artist who signed his works “Geo” featuring a winsome lass in a dress made from a lemon picking fresh lemons from a tree for this citrus drink; and E. Patke’s 1941 Kinagin, a comical and yet avant-garde design for a vermouth.

The show features numerous other categories, as well as a number of smaller graphics, many already framed and available for under $100.  Vintage luggage labels are a hugely popular category, especially for newcomers.  An original form of viral marketing, these beautifully designed labels were affixed to the suitcases of intrepid travelers as a scrapbook of exotic destinations.  Worldly individuals were given the chance to show off their adventures, all the while serving as walking billboards.

Comments gallery owner Jim Lapides, “Poster collecting is easier and less expensive than you think, and if you buy what you love it will appreciate as you appreciate it on your wall. “

In addition to gallery shows and exhibitions, IPG’s award-winning website, offers one of the largest, most comprehensive online collections of vintage advertising posters in the world.  Originally launched in 1998, the site contains nearly 5000 images accessible through a powerful search engine.


Meaghan Flaherty
Fusco & Four Ventures

International Poster Gallery
205 Newbury Street
Boston, Massachusetts

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