From the master, Jules Cheret, Olympia is the poster for the 1893 re-opening of the oldest surviving Parisian music hall. When it first opened in 1889 it was known as “Montagnes Russes” which is French for Roller Coaster. That name was thought to describe the wild time one would have in the hall. This is the 1899 Affiches Illustrees version of Cheret’s original. It is framed.
The Inland Printer was a trade magazine that served the mid-western US printing industry. It was created in 1883 and is said to be the first American magazine to feature a new cover every week. Featuring some of the most influential illustrators it was widely praised and to this day widely collected. Will H Bradley was the American master of the Art Nouveau period being influenced by the Arts and Crafts movement as well as Japanese woodblocks. This is his 1895 Christmas cover from the Les Affiches Estrangeres series. It is framed.
Hugo d’Alesi created a poster for a lithography exhibit at the 1895 French Centennial exhibition. His subject was one famous to anyone who has visited the City of Lights, a woman examining artwork at a bookstall along side the Seine. One of the prints is by Jules Cheret, publisher of the Maitres series.
The Bal Masque de L’Opera was an important event in the annual Parisian calendar. This Maitre by Jules Cheret celebrates the 1st iteration of the event. From 1896.
Jules Cheret sought to include all of the important posterist of the day in his Maitres series, that included several from America. One was Charles Woodbury, and this poster is the cover art he did for Century Magazine. The Japanese woodblock style had many practitioners in America, Woodbury, who actually had a Mechanical Engineering degree from MIT was one of them.
Poster collecting has always been a passion. In 1895, when the poster as an art form was in its infancy, Jules Cheret created a subscription series, Maîtres de L’Affiche (Masters of the Poster) based on famous posters of the time. Issued in a small 11” x 15” format, subscribers would receive four posters every month for a year. Cheret, a famous poster artist in his own right, included one of his posters in each monthly packet of four. Other famous artists in the group included Toulouse Lautrec, Steinlen and Mucha. The series lasted for five years and 256 Maîtres were created (special posters were issued at year’s end). Today, most all of the Maîtres remain, and are highly collectible. This is Maîtres Plate 177 by Cheret, issued in 1899.