Original Advertising Posters from Europe and the United States, 1880 to Present
Before the invention of radio, television, or the internet, the primary means by which a company could reach the public was with advertising posters. These designs plastered the walls of buildings first in Europe and eventually around the world and delivered the imperative to BUY- everything from bicycles, to travel, opera, aperitifs. These advertising posters eventually became collectible. In France, in particular, the public formed poster collecting clubs, published magazines about posters, graphic art and printing, and hosted exhibitions of the finest posters. The craze was called “Afficheomanie” or ‘poster mania’ and everyday collectors amassed huge collections of these fragile bits of ephemera.
Elizabeth Norris caught affichomanie in 1997 and founded Vintage European Posters (VEP). She began assembling her collection of posters in France and the United States using a strict criteria - in order to be considered original, a poster must have been designed for advertising purposes, and designed and printed in the same time period. There are no restrikes or reproductions in her collection and every poster has been washed, mounted and restored for preservation. “I believe there are good things from every time period” says Norris, “and so you will find beautiful Belle Epoque posters as well as cool mid-century posters in the collection.” The VEP collection spans a century, and each poster has a story behind it. The VEP staff enjoys doing research about poster artists and helps to put each poster into the social, cultural and historical context from which it came.
Exhibition Related Special Events
Evolution of the French Advertising Poster
Friday, May 1: 6 pm
Art After Dark Paso
Saturday, May 2: 6 pm - 9 pm
Paso Robles Wine Festival: Posters in the Park
Saturday, May 16: 12 pm - 4 pm