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Art & Drafting

Notecards & Postcards

The Art of the Literary Poster

An exploration of late nineteenth-century American literary posters—a vibrant genre at the vanguard of modern commercial art and graphic design.
Spurred by innovations in printing technology, the modern advertising poster emerged in the 1890s as a popular form of visual culture in the United States. Created by some of the best-known illustrators and graphic designers of the period—including William H. Bradley, Florence Lundborg, Edward Penfield, Maxfield Parrish, and Ethel Reed—these advertisements for books and high-tone periodicals such as Harper’s and Lippincott’s went beyond the realm of commercial art, incorporating bold, stylized imagery and striking typography. This book, based on the renowned Leonard A. Lauder Collection, explores the craze for literary posters, which became sought-after collectibles even in their day. It offers new scholarly perspectives that address the aesthetic sophistication and modernity of the literary poster; the impact of early experiments in the field of advertising psychology; the expanded opportunities for women artists, who played an important role in advancing the so-called poster style; and the printmaking techniques that artists employed in this novel art form. Hardcover, 256 pages.

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