BOSTON, MA - International Poster Gallery (IPG) proudly presents Postermania!: Handpicked Summer Favorites, a show and sale of original vintage posters chosen by the gallery’s knowledgeable staff. The term “Postermania” was originally coined during the Belle Epoque and refers to the poster fever that swept Paris during the 1890s. Fittingly, the gallery’s 19th annual summer exhibition features a diverse selection of posters by subject, genre and period, each selected by IPG staff members to reflect their individual tastes. Included are works by renowned poster artists like Edward Penfield and Roger Broders alongside lesser known, but remarkable staff favorites. Postermania! opens July 11 and runs through September 3, 2012 at International Poster Gallery, 205 Newbury Street in Boston. The gallery is open daily from 10am – 6pm and Sunday from noon – 6pm. For additional information, please visit www.InternationalPoster.com or call 617-375-0076.
The centerpiece of the summer exhibition is Arnold Skolnick’s celebrated 1969 poster for the Woodstock Music Festival, "3 Days of Peace & Music". A true rock and roll icon, the poster played an essential role in the success of the largest rock concert of the ‘60s, an event that was as famous for its freedom from violence as it was for its remarkable music lineup. It perfectly expressed in one symbol – a dove perched on the neck of a guitar – the spirit of Woodstock and devotees. Despite its need for lengthy text (which contains a treasure trove of information on the festival), the poster was as graphically succinct as any by Cappiello. “When asked to choose my favorite summer poster, Woodstock was the first thing that came to mind,” comments gallery manager Norah Guignon. “The poster itself is beautiful, but I really developed an appreciation for the design after meeting the artist when he gave a talk at the gallery in 2009 to celebrate Woodstock’s 40th anniversary.” In addition to this original Woodstock poster, IPG also offers an exclusive 40th anniversary Woodstock poster designed by Arnold Skolnick, printed in a limited edition and signed by the artist.
Other Postermania! favorites include Walter Cyliax’s joyful poster for a flower festival in Zurich. Blumenfest is an explosion of shapes and high-contrast colors, rendering an array of beautiful blossoms with deft Modernist sensibility. IPG owner Jim Lapides comments, “Cyliax was enormously versatile and strongly believed, like his Bauhaus contemporaries, that clarity was the most important principle of design. He's a bit of an unsung hero in the medium - we haven’t had the chance to feature this poster yet in an exhibition - but he’s most definitely a favorite of mine.”
When pressed to choose her favorite poster for the summer exhibition, Taylor Poulin was quick to select Edward Penfield’s Join the United States School Garden Army – Enlist Now. “There’s so much going on in this deceptively simple design, both on the surface and behind the scenes,” she comments. “There’s the period gardening equipment and attire, which bring naïve charm and quiet purpose to the design, but the poster also explains the vital, but often-overlooked importance of war gardens during the first World War.” Penfield’s poster for the War Garden Commission, itself a remarkable volunteer effort, is one of the best of World War I. Roughly 5 million war gardens, now called victory gardens, fed United States citizens during the conflict, while committing massive shipments to aid beleaguered allies in Europe.
Another favorite is Walter Herz’s 1948 poster for Pan Am, advertising travel to the summer Olympic Games in London. The poster tells a rich and timely story. In 1939, the Olympics were awarded to London for the 50th anniversary of the Games (to be held in 1944), but were cancelled due to World War II. After the War, London was chosen to host the Games in 1948 despite wartime damage and the strict austerity of its postwar economy. Herz’s design paints a picture of a prosperous and celebratory London, combining the symbolism of the ancient games in the classical Greek sculpture of Discobolus with the five interlocking rings of the Modern Games. “This is one of the most historically relevant and significant Olympics posters we have in our inventory,” comments Natalie Polito. “The so-called ‘Austerity Games’ of 1948 were hugely successful and were the first ever to be televised. Also, thanks to the advent of affordable passenger air travel, for the first time, American’s could fly across the Atlantic to attend.”
In addition to gallery shows and special exhibitions, IPG’s award-winning website, www.internationalposter.com offers one of the largest, most comprehensive online collection of vintage advertising posters in the world. Originally launched in 1998, the site contains nearly 5000 images accessible through a powerful search engine.
Editor’s Note: • Background and additional digital color images available.
• Interviews with gallery owner Jim Lapides are encouraged.