Collecting Art Posters (Part 1)
Collecting Art Posters (Part 1)
Make money collecting Art Posters.
Collecting Vintage Art Posters can be a very rewarding & lucrative hobby.
Art Posters now fetch high prices at Auction and are much sought after.
It may be a surprise to some that art prints & posters (reproduction reprints) are equally as collectible as authentic ‘original’ prints.
Vintage lithographic posters have become collectible works of art in their own right.
With little in common with other offset or digital reproductions, their place in art history is well established and documented.
In fact, they are now found in most museum collections.
Collectible posters can be rare and are considered unique works of art – from original pre-war advertisement posters, to contemporary exhibitions prints, to out-of-print and hard to find artworks. They may not be signed or numbered like a ‘original’ limited edition but even so they often appreciate in value over time due to their rarity and age.
Because of the unique history of each item, collectable prints may show minor signs of handling, aging, or original print defects. Their condition affects the price when collecting as their age affects their condition.
For example, in 1963, during a renovation of the offices of a Parisian literary journal, some very lucky workmen found hundreds of Toulouse-Lautrec posters rolled up under the floorboards. Even then the ones in the best condition could be bought for a few hundred dollars. As far back as the 1970s, one dealer had 100 copies of Lautrec’s Divan Japonais, which he sold for $800 each.
Definitely you can make money collecting Art posters. These posters now sell for $25,000 and more. In 1989, Toulouse-Lautrec’s 3-sheet Moulin Rouge sold for $220,000, at the time, the highest price ever paid for a fine art poster at auction. Surely it would fetch 5 times at much at auction today!
These posters were among the first type of ‘mass produced’ works from an original lithographic stone. This meant they were quite a find!
Certainly their history and how they were created helped revolutionize how artists saw their work and how they could exploit the medium to reach a wider audience and so have won a firm place in the history of Art.
In more modern times, the offset lithographic process creates an artist’s poster and some are also highly sought after. That’s because some of these prints are still considered ‘limited’ like the issue of a daily newspaper as they were created for a specific date for event and were printed in a ‘limited run’.
Today, virtually every poster style from every period can be found, with good images and conditions that can range from a few hundred dollars to thousands. Collectors like the broad and niche appeal of the poster world.
Some collector’s niches include many such as travel posters, Olympics, war posters, Propaganda posters, artist exhibition posters, it seems there is something for everyone.
In a later blog, I’ll explore the key factors that help value these posters.
For now let’s explore a poster created for an event by Marc Chagall (Russian/French, 1887-1985).
It was one of the posters created for the opera “Carmen’ for the Metropolitan Opera in New York in 1966.
This is an original poster created for that event. Although it’s not considered ‘rare’ it is still highly collectible. It served as an advertisement for the Carmen opening at the Met in the Lincoln Center.
The work was created in 1966 from a detail for Chagall’s painting ‘Triumph of Music’.
This was a series of 2 large-scale decorations created for the Metropolitan Opera House in New York (one being Carmen, the other, The Magic Flute). They hang there still today.
It illustrates three muse-like figures floating above a cityscape set against a vivid red background. A typical Chagall-like image. The central figure depicts Rudolf Bing, the Met’s director. It was he that commissioned the painting.
These are the technical details I know below (I am always open to correction, that’s the way to learn after all)
Dimensions: 26″ x 40″
Edition of circa 3000
Printed by Hermann Krause
This poster is now 50 years old. It is still as vivid and striking as the day it was made.
This in my mind makes it very collectible.
Even though pricing may be subjective, I’ve seen it on sale for $350-$800.
Some like knowing the history behind a piece (and it seems that each artist’s poster has a unique story to tell). This makes them worth collecting for their own sake. The money they fetch is a bonus.
There is one on sale in this shop, I have had it for 6 years now.
Check it out with this link below.