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I thoroughly enjoyed the Netflix series The Crown… So much so that I watched it twice!

I thought the series was (generally) kind to the Queen, not quite so generous to her consort, and overall made a conscious and concerted effort to highlight the naughty and nefarious goings-on among the various royal houses and hangers-on.

There has always been a fascination with the Royal family’s public and private lives. During WWI The Illustrated London News featured stories about the nursing efforts of the Royal princess alongside write-ups from the Western Front. The recent US presidential results have drawn some pundits to point out “How watching Netflix’s ‘The Crown’ can prepare you for the Trump presidency” and Philip’s extra-marital wanderings have been examined and discussed in great detail, including a recent Vanity Fair expose.

Claire Foy as a young Queen, and our poster of a young British Miss selling Post Office Savings Bank accounts … both rosy-cheeked, both very sweet, and only one available for sale.

According to the British royal website, the Queen “has ruled for longer than any other Monarch in British history, becoming a much loved and respected figure across the globe. Her extraordinary reign has seen her travel more widely than any other monarch, undertaking many historic overseas visits. Known for her sense of duty and her devotion to a life of service, she has been an important figurehead for the UK and the Commonwealth during times of enormous social change.”

Her recent 90th birthday party celebrations (highlights of which can be seen here) once again raised the question of her succession, but given her life-long devotion to her crown and her country, I am fairly certain that everything will proceed just as it should. Long live the Queen!


Featured posters:

The L’Affichiste team of elves (that’s me with the list, Lilian next to me, Emily holding all the boxes, Alison directing the team, and Kate … well, Kate is in the basement wrapping up orders)

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has been working feverishly, putting together not only some great gift ideas, but also searching far and wide for some Christmas cheer. We’ve gone to the UK to check in on some great holiday-inspired ads (or adverts as they are called over there), and found this, this and our favourite).

This year we’re thinking gift sets. SO much better than the Old Spice soap-on-a-rope sets that you saved up to buy your dad when you were little, and the slippers he still keeps in the closet (his way of showing you he loves you), but something a little more grand and a lot more fun.

How about a matted vintage chocolate card circa 1900 (they were the precursors for baseball cards) and a lovely bar of chocolate, wrapped beautifully together and delivered to an office colleague with a sweet tooth?


We have individual chocolate cards at $75, and charming sets of chocolate cards (all vintage of course!) from $150 – $250. For $25 more, we’ll add the chocolate and pay for the shipping in the continental US and Canada* or delivery if it’s in Montreal. At that price, you might want one for every colleague in the office!

We have hundreds of Art Deco wine labels, framed and ready to hang in a kitchen, dining room, bar … they even look great in the bathroom! And when paired with a bottle of wine, they make a great gift for the banker, lawyer or doctor on your list.**

The framed labels are usually $175 all on their own, but for this Christmas, we will add the wine – gratis – and deliver it for free anywhere on the island of Montreal. Essentially, a $225 value for $175. Doesn’t get better than that!

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I love the tag line of the Burberry 2016 ad “People come to me with their dreams” (you can see the video here). My dream for the last five years was to write and publish a book about Julius Klinger, a prolific (and prolifically talented poster artist whose work spanned the Art Nouveau and Art Deco periods). Five years later, that dream has come true. The book is available on our website at $70, but for Christmas we are offering it at $50. It’s beautiful, colourful, and will make a great gift for anyone who likes art, posters, history and design. (While quantities last)

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(No, we’re not selling Mads himself, but he’s such a handsome devil that I thought we’d put his pic up anyway…)

From now until Christmas we are offering a 3 for 2 sale on Mads Berg, Montreal Olympics, and Montreal Opera posters. Buy two, get one free (While quantities last!), just use promo code 3FOR2 at checkout! This is a great way to collect some of the posters you’ve been checking out on the website (we don’t blame you!) – you could even buy two for yourself and give the third as a gift. (Now there’s a thought!) To see the full list of available posters, visit our website here. Any questions? E-mail us at info@laffichiste.com

We’re making our list and checking it twice and you should too… Tell us who’s on yours, what you’d like to send them, and we’ll do the rest. We might even put on a big furry suit and skate it right over – just like these guys.

Happy holidays everyone!

 

If you’d like to order any of our Christmas gift sets, leave your name, e-mail, and which set you’re interested in, and we’ll get right back to you!

 

*Some restrictions apply.

**Because of restrictions for shipping alcohol outside the province of Quebec, this fabulous gift idea is limited to clients within the province.

I wanted to write a blog post about elections and election posters without resorting to mentioning Trump and some recently leaked video about what Amy Schumer calls ‘lady parts’. (Well, I think both Trump and Ms. Schumer are more precise, but I’m a little old fashioned … still…) And today, October 16, 2016, just a few days after Bob Dylan was awarded a Nobel Prize in Literature (?!), I happened to find this great –Milton Glaser/Dylan-inspired Bernie Sanders 2016 poster. Poster Karma!

Many articles, books and blogs have discussed the power of persuasion that political posters have – and have always had – on public opinion. Here at L’Affichiste when we show posters by Alphonse Willette, we mention that he was often referred to as one of France’s secret weapons in the propaganda war that accompanied WWI.

I prefer our Journée du Poilu to the 2016 anti-Clinton poster on the right. For me, a solid propaganda poster needs to have a clear message: Journée du Poilu = home, hearth, romance. I’m not entirely sure what The Teflon Con means…

Great political poster artists have to be able – like all poster artists – to not only grab and keep your attention, but to impart a message that is memorable. Whether it’s the anti-Facism de Gaulle poster (below left) or the WWI Canadian bond poster (below right) each work managed to imprint itself on the viewer’s visual memory (this at a time before leaked videos …)

There have been some great articles written about political posters, like this one or this one.

Certain poster images have become unforgettable talismans of long-forgotten wars fought in far-off lands. As the Imperial War Museum has written about the Remember Belgium poster (bottom right)

“Ellsworth Young was responsible for one of the best-known American posters of the First World War. Taking a title which first appeared in two British recruiting posters, Remember Belgium, the artist uses the alleged atrocities committed by Germans in 1914 to generate sympathy for the Belgians and thereby encourage Americans to invest in war savings. Young did his design in 1918, but little else is known about the artist. The US war loan schemes were very successful, and by the end of the First World War millions of such posters had been produced, many using the Statue of Liberty (which became the Liberty Loan logo, designed by Adolph Treidler) or Uncle Sam as a motif. Such campaigns were even more effective than those launched in Germany (Joseph Pennell’s design of New York in flames, created for the Fourth Liberty Loan, was particularly successful). The message of Young’s Remember Belgium is simple, and its image clear and horrifying. Interesting is the resemblance between the German soldier and Otto Von Bismarck, whose appearance the artist would have known from illustrations. Also interesting is the large amount of plain green background (actually composed of green and blue, with small orange flecks), and the use of diagonals, indicating how effective Ellsworth Young was as a designer.”

 

As for me, I must say that I’ve found watching the US election to be an exhausting and rather unpleasant experience. Or as this Bernie Sanders (pseudo) campaign poster puts it…

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I’ve written about the Olympics before (check here and here), but somehow watching athletes of all nations parading (and in this case, samba-ing) into the Maracanã stadium never gets old. Rio means heat, samba, teeny-tiny bikinis, and a bunch of new tear-jerking ads by companies like Visa.

When – other than two weeks in the summer every 4 years or so – do arcane sports like archery get top billing on television sets around the world?

I never tire of seeing Michael Phelp’s magnificently sculpted body swim farther and faster than anyone else … and I think it’s pretty cool that a 31-year old new dad brings his baby to the pool. (Wanna see how good he is? Check here and here)

It’s no surprise that the American female gymnastics team brought home the gold – they were favoured by many odds-makers – but perhaps you didn’t know that this was the last Olympics for the famed Martha Karolyi. She and her husband Bela have worked with the team for decades. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, they definitely get results.

I’m not going to post the video of the poor gymnast who broke his leg on the vault (although the bewilderment on his face was priceless), nor will I take sides on the doping scandals (although I do think they are scandalous) …

Years ago while travelling from here to there I sat next to an interesting man who was in charge of a global anti-doping agency. We talked – as travellers do – without too many filters, and although he was very vague, I had the sense then that things were going to heat up in the doping world. Lo and behold, here we are … The Russians claim they’ve been framed, the world believes the Soviets have been caught, and historians just chuckle because this is neither the first, nor the last, Olympic scandal.

We have a selection of some pretty fantabulous Olympic posters from Munich, Montreal and Moscow. As a special bonus for our loyal blog-readers (and in celebration of Rio), for the month of August (2016) we’re offering 10% off our Olympic posters.

So, make yourself an ice-cold caipirinha, put on some sexy samba music, and enjoy the show. After all – it only happens once every four years! 🙂

One of the most wonderful aspects of my Klinger project (if you’re a regular reader of the blog you’ll know that I’ve been – forever! – working on a book about Julius Klinger, which, if the fates align properly, will be published later on this summer) is the fascinating people I have met along the way. Curators from around the world, poster experts from the US, UK, Germany and right here at home, as well as dealers, auctioneers and aficionados who have shared their posters (and their love of posters) with me from the moment I began this project … they have all played a huge role in helping and guiding me over the last five years.

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Nicho Lowry of Swann Galleries in New York – shown here during one of his regular stints on the Antiques Road Show

The poster world – populated by people I often refer to as the Poster Mafia – is actually a small group of people who buy and sell posters for a living. But, like any intimate group activity, these people work in the field because they love posters. They can tell you about the posters that got away from them at auction, about the posters they sold and wished they hadn’t, about the posters they keep for themselves… They (ok, we) can tell you about the history of a poster by looking at the paper upon which it is printed and how the ink has been absorbed by that paper. We can trace the development of individual poster artists through their work and through the influence they had on their peers. We can explain these things to you because we spend our days and nights around and about posters – because we love them. (Or at least I do.)

Working on the Klinger book gave me entrée to another group of poster people: museum curators (and the people who work with and for them) at both private and public institutions in Israel, the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Canada, the United States and Switzerland. While dealers work (in a very hands-on manner) with posters, touching them, showing them, packing and unpacking them, curators rarely handle their posters, and when they do, they do so while wearing white gloves (generally in climate-controlled environments).

Recently I had the opportunity to meet Bettina Richter, the curator of the poster collection at the Museum für Gestaltung in Zurich. Bettina, and her registrar Patrizia Baldi, had consented to letting me reproduce some of their Klinger posters in my book and as I was travelling nearby, I asked if I might be able to visit their archives. (The Museum für Gestaltung has a few Klingers that I have not been able to locate elsewhere and I was very excited to see them.) After a guided tour of the general design archives (which were exquisite, immaculate and absolutely fascinating), and a brief meeting with Bettina, she took me down to the poster archives and graciously let me see some of ‘her’ Klingers.

When I was able to see the ink on these wonderful Klinger posters and discern which lithographic plate had run through the press first, or when, before Bettina uncovered an entire poster, I could tell from just a corner which poster it was going to be, I realized how much joy this project has brought to my life, and how much I have grown and learned through the process. In those moments I thought of Hans Sachs and how when describing his own (lost) poster collection he wrote: “I am grateful to the fates for the decades in which I was able to find such joy in my treasures. They were an infinitely rich and significant part of my spiritual, artistic, and human development… In gratitude I should like to shake the hand of each (poster artist) for the hours of artistic stimulation their creative work has afforded me.”

I am grateful to the fates Sachs mentions, but also to the humans – people like Susan Reinhold and Marc Choko – who have consistently (and insistently) helped me bring this project to life. I’m grateful to the people who work with and for me at L’Affichiste, for their dedication to the gallery (and by extension, to me) has permitted me to be absent for weeks and months at a time while working on this book. But most of all, I’m grateful to Julius Klinger, for it is his work that has made me fall in love with posters, poster history, and the Poster Mafia, all over again.

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Perhaps the most famous poster by Toulouse-Lautrec: La Goulue

 

Our very own Montreal Museum of Fine Arts is set to launch an exhibition devoted to the works of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (you can find more information about the exhibition here).

Toulouse-Lautrec, a man described by Cora Michael of the Metropolitan Museum in New York as “an aristocratic, alcoholic dwarf known for his louche lifestyle … created art that was inseparable from his legendary life.” Sounds like just the kind of guy to invite to a party. (I’ve written about this artist before: you can find my previous blog post here.)

Michael continues, “His career lasted just over a decade and coincided with two major developments in late nineteenth-century Paris: the birth of modern printmaking and the explosion of nightlife culture. Lautrec’s posters promoted Montmartre entertainers as celebrities, and elevated the popular medium of the advertising lithograph to the realm of high art. His paintings of dancehall performers and prostitutes are personal and humanistic, revealing the sadness and humor hidden beneath rice powder and gaslights. Though he died tragically young (at age thirty-six) due to complications from alcoholism and syphilis, his influence was long-lasting. It is fair to say that without Lautrec, there would be no Andy Warhol.” (You can find Michael’s entire article here.)

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A favorite muse of Toulouse-Lautrec: Jane Avril

 

Lautrec was a strange child, prone to a variety of illnesses (due in part to the fact that his parents were first cousins) and, because of two separate accidents in his teen years, his legs ceased to grow while his body did not. This resulted in in a normally proportioned upper body, but the short legs of a dwarf – he walked, painfully, with the aid of a cane. Shunned – and shunning – proper society, Toulouse-Lautrec spent a great deal of time in the bordellos and whorehouses of Paris, drawing their occupants and clients with an acerbic wit and a singular (and slightly skewed) view.

I fell in love with the work of Toulouse-Lautrec when I was a young girl: many of his early works featured horses, and like many fillettes, I loved anything equine. (Actually, I credit my attraction to these works with my first exposure to what would later become my abiding passion for posters.) Any of his works that feature horses indicate his appreciation not only for their beauty, but also for the way they moved. An exhibition poster we recently received, for a show held at the Palais de la Méditerranée in Paris in 1957, gracefully illustrates the artist’s skill and finesse.

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The horses, heads back, ears pointed, regally split the crowd of carousers around them… it’s a small piece, and one which is often overlooked, but in this format is both striking and charming.

 

 

150 years before selfies, Toulouse-Lautrec was not shy about having his photo taken – these images were shot in 1892 and show that the artist had (at best) a warped sense of humor. We love him for that reason, as well as for the fact that although he created fewer than 40 posters in his lifetime, his work provided the framework and foundation for every poster artist who followed in his footsteps. If you’d like to learn more about his style, you can do so by clicking here, or by watching a full-length documentary devoted to his style.

Some of the Toulouse-Lautrec works in the L’Affichiste collection.

 

His work has been exhibited and celebrated at some of the finest museums in the world. The Museum of Modern Art in New York created this video to commemorate their show, the press is already lauding the MMFA exhibition, and there will no doubt be other, equally exciting shows in the years to come.

The team at L’Affichiste is excited by the fact that more Montrealers will come to realize what we already know: Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec’s posters are singular, spectacular, and yes, for sale at the gallery and on-line at laffichiste.com.