L'Affichomania: The Passion for French Posters presents a selection of works that convey the visual power of the Golden Age of Posters in the 1890s and early 1900s. Drawn from the renowned collection of Richard H. Driehaus, the works represent the best of five masters: Jules Chéret, Eugène Grasset, Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen, Alphonse Mucha, and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.
Paris was transformed by the poster, its boulevards becoming an outdoor gallery of bold, vivid images affixed to walls and Morris columns—kiosks designed especially for them. A rich mix of artworks announced performances by Sarah Bernhardt, Jane Avril, La Goulue, and others at the Moulin Rouge, Le Chat Noir, and the Folies-Bergère, and extolled innovative commercial products such as Saxoleine lamp oil, healthier sterilized milk, and the intoxicating Punch Grassot.
As the poster craze erupted, savvy dealers acquired commercial examples and commissioned special collector's versions, often without the lettering of the advertisements, that were eagerly acquired by Parisians and collectors throughout Europe. The Driehaus poster collection is part of this distinguished tradition, now well into its second century.
About the Exhibition Curator | Jeannine Falino is an independent curator and museum consultant specializing in American decorative arts, craft and design. Previously the Carolyn and Peter Lynch Curator of American Decorative Arts at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Falino is currently a consulting curator of American silver at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art. She teaches the history of American ceramics at the Rhode Island School of Design.