The Art of the Literary Poster

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Spurred by innovations in printing technology, the modern 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 Will H. Bradley, Florence Lundborg, Edward Penfield, 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 socalled poster style; and the printmaking techniques that artists employed in this novel art form. A lively survey of a little-known but highly influential period in graphic design, The Art of the Literary Poster is sure to delight enthusiasts of illustration, advertising, and book arts.

Written by Allison Rudnick with contributions by Jennifer A. Greenhill, Rachel Mustalish, Shannon Vittoria, and Leonard A. Lauder. Published by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2024. Hardcover, measures 10 x 8.8 inches, 248 pages. ISBN 9781588397744

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