Tuesday, May 28, 2019

L’Affichomania: The Passion for French Posters

Taft Museum of Art, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA June 8-Sept. 15, 2019;

Vero Beach Museum of Art, Vero Beach, Florida, Oct. 19, 2019-Jan. 12, 2020; 

Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, Wausau, Wisconsin, March 7-May 31, 2020; 

Bellevue Arts Museum, Bellevue, Washington, June 26-Aug. 23, 2020; 

June Collins Smith Museum of Art, Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama, Sept. 19, 2020-Jan. 3, 2021; 

Brigham Young University Museum of Art, Provo, Utah, Sept. 3, 2021-Feb. 19, 2022;

Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, Memphis, Tennessee, March 19-June 12, 2022.

The dynamism and style of turn-of-the-century Paris are brought to life in this spirited exhibition featuring approximately 50 iconic French posters dating from 1875 to 1910. L’Affichomania: The Passion for French Posters showcases the remarkable images of five master printmakers who worked in France: 

Jules Chéret, Théâtrophone, 1890, color lithograph, photograph by John Faier, © 2015, courtesy of the Richard H. Driehaus Museum

 Jules Chéret, 


Eugène Grasset, 

Alphonse Mucha, "Princess Hyacinth", 1911.

  Courtesy the Driehaus Museum Alphonse Mucha, "Princess Hyacinth", 1911

Alphonse Mucha, Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. 

These pioneering artists reigned in Paris during an astonishing stretch of artistic creativity and developed the vivid new visual style on view in this exhibition.

Significance:  The works in L’Affichomania: The Passion for French Posters represent some of the most compelling and well-known examples of French poster art such as 

Steinlen’s Le Chat Noir 

 Moulin Rouge:  La Goulue, 
    ArtistHenri de Toulouse-LautrecPrinterAffiches Américaines, Charles Lévy,Prints, Posters
and Toulouse-Lautrec’s Moulin Rouge: La Goulue. 

 The exhibition explores the richness of the artists’ achievements in this emerging medium and the visually powerful role of the poster in French society.

Bright, bold and promoting everything from products and inventions to the famed Bohemian events and performers of Montmartre, the large-scale color lithographs were heralded as a new art form – a brilliant fusion of craft and commerce. The popularity of posters fueled a passion for collecting them, called affichomanie (craze for posters). Thanks to relaxed posting guidelines, along with advances in color printing, tens of thousands of posters were plastered along the streets of Paris every year. Pedestrians encountered these large prints throughout the city, making graphic art and design a part of modern daily life.

Tour:  The exhibition premieres at the Taft Museum of Art, the first stop on a nationwide tour of the following venues:

Organizer:  L’Affichomania: The Passion for French Posters was organized by the Richard H. Driehaus Museum in Chicago and drawn entirely from the Museum’s collection of fine and decorative arts.

Curator:  Jeannine Falino is an independent curator, museum consultant and professor specializing in decorative arts, craft and design.

Book:  A publication of the same title accompanies the exhibition and includes texts by the curator and by collector Richard H. Driehaus.