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

October 19, 2019-January 12, 2020
Holmes Gallery

L’Affichomania: The Passion for French Posters explores the eruption of the poster craze in Paris, bringing to life the exuberant spirit of the Belle Époque. L’Affichomania: The Passion for French Posters features approximately 62 posters and ephemera dating from 1875 to 1910 by the five grand masters of the medium: Jules Chéret, Eugène Grasset, Alphonse Mucha, Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen, and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. These pioneering artists defined a new and unforgettable art form.

Bright, bold, and found everywhere along the boulevards of fin-de-siècle Paris, the color poster was a brilliant fusion of art and commerce. It advertised cigarette papers and milk, immortalized stage stars and bohemian cabarets, and won the adoration of passersby and art collectors alike. As pedestrians encountered these lively posters posted on the Parisian boulevards, the pulse of modern life seemed to beat faster, inciting them to acquire the prints– by buying and selling special editions or stealthily removing them from walls and kiosks. This sudden popularity of posters fueled a passion for collecting them, called affichomania.

L’Affichomania: The Passion for French Posters was organized by the The Richard H. Driehaus Museum and is toured by International Art & Artists, Washington, DC (https://www.artsandartists.org/)