In the ever-expanding digital age, I have to wonder if kiddies still hang posters on their walls? Because I know I did, from the floorboards to the ceiling. Kind of creepy to think of those random celebrity faces staring back at me. Well, anyway this mass-produced “art form” of large printed paper is celebrated at the Poster Museum at Wilanów in Warsaw, Poland. Not only the world’s oldest poster museum, but also the first of its kind, the collection is housed in the beautiful Wilanow Palace complex. Then director of the National Museum, Stanisław Lorentz, decided such a thing needed to exist and made it happen.
Founded in 1968, when most of these photos were taken, the museum started with nearly 13,000 posters, including around 500 that were preserved from the World War II era. The huge collection has grown to over 55,000 items of both the Polish and international variety from the last two centuries. And anyone who thinks posters are just advertisements will most likely have their minds changed after seeing the craft and artistry of the designs on display. The museum mixes it up with many temporary exhibitions of historical and contemporary artworks, like “Great Theatre of the World – Theatre Posters 1945-2012″ and “Polish Tourist Posters – 1946-1991”. Many famous artists are part of the collection, such as Henryk Tomaszewski, Andy Warhol, Ikko Tanaka, Jan Lenica, Waldemar Świerzy, Jan Młodożeniec, Milton Glaser, Paul Davis, and Shin Matsunaga. Oh, if you can’t make it to Warsaw, just google “Polish Movie Posters”…you’re in for a treat. I personally like this one.