Vintage Posters and the people who collect and cherish them

Perhaps because I started as a poster collector, and possibly because I have always loved giving people the perfect gift, when a client buys a poster and feels that it is just right for them, I am inordinately pleased. In the five years I have had the gallery, I have occasionally received letters from people thoughtful enough to share with me precisely what motivated them to buy (or search for) those particular posters.

sarajevo olympics poster ski
Sarajevo, 1984

Shortly after opening the gallery I was fortunate enough to acquire – on consignment – a large collection of posters from a gentleman who had lovingly acquired them over a period of decades. While many had a nautical theme, there was among the 100 or so posters, a selection of posters from the Sarajevo Winter Olympics.

Sarajevo Olympics Hockey 84 poster
Sarajevo Olympics, Hockey
Sarajevo Olympics Skating
Sarajevo Olympics, Skating

These were sold to a man, living in Europe, who wrote me the following note: “Thanks for organising the shipping to France. I am delighted to have found these posters. In 1999/2000 I was heading the legal secretariat at an international human rights tribunal in Sarajevo, and I have extremely fond memories of the city. In a trendy bar near the old Olympic stadium, the owner had put up a more or less complete collection of these posters on the walls. I just loved them but, despite spending more than a year in Sarajevo, I was never able to find any to buy. My colleagues at the tribunal even contacted the artist, Mr Mujezinovic, who at the time lived in Slovenia, to get me a poster as a farewell gift, but were told that he didn’t have any and didn’t know where to find them. At a later visit to Sarajevo, I found one (of a ski jumper) in an old framing shop in the centre. I have tried ever since to get hold of more of them, but I have realised that they are very rare and almost impossible to find. So please tell the Dutch diplomat that, still, the posters have found a home where they will be cherished.”

Sarajevo Olympics Speed Skating Vintage Photo
Team Canada - Sarajevo, 1984

Another Sarajevo poster, from the same source, went to Italy, and to a woman who wrote: “Let’s go back to our Cellist (there is even a good book so named: the cellist of Sarajevo, by Steven Galloway, it’s based on a real story in Sarajevo during wartime, and even in the movie: Welcome to Sarajevo of Michael Winterbottom there is in the end the cellist… and I saw that poster in center of Sarajevo in a small shop of pictures and paintings…)… but as we were saying… ah yes! I’d like to buy that poster.”

Vedran Smailović Cellist
Vedran Smailovic, "The Cellist of Sarajevo"

For a short video on the cellist of Sarajevo – Vedran Smailovic – and his bravery and his 22 day performance click here.

Vancouver Olympics 2010
Vancouver Olympics, 2010
Vancouver 2010
Vancouver 2010 - Gaolewen

And one of my favourite thank you notes, from a charming Australian client who was looking for the PERFECT gift for his love:

 Kia Ora, Bonjour Karen,
It landed on Friday afternoon in perfect condition, it looks even better in real life then it seemed online. Once again I would like to pass on my thanks & compliments on fantastic service & can say that I will for definitely be back for more & will gladly pass on your site to anyone who asks where it was purchased from.
Kapi, Merci & have a great day from sunny Melbourne



  1. I have 3 of the Sarajevo posters in my office (Hockey, Skating and Ski Jumping). A nice (and constant) reminder of good times in 1984.

  2. I am looking for the USA ski team poster from 1984 for my wife as a present. Any thoughts where I might look for reproductions?

    • Hello – You had written to me quite some time ago (apologies, the blog has been somewhat out of commission) regarding some 1980 Olympic posters you had to sell. If you still have them and can send photos to, I’d be happy to see them. All best and thanks. Karen Etingin

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s