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Dallas Museum of Art Presents Posters of Paris: Toulouse-Lautrec and His Contemporaries

Dallas, TX, October 11, 2012 — This fall, the Dallas Museum of Art presents Posters of Paris: Toulouse-Lautrec and His Contemporaries, an exhibition exploring the earliest days of the affiche artistique (artistic poster) and its flowering in Paris, first under Jules Chéret in the 1870s and 1880s, and then with a new generation of artists including Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Pierre Bonnard. These artists brought the poster to new heights in the 1890s. On view October 14, 2012, through January 20, 2013, the exhibition brings together the finest French examples from the golden age of the poster.

“The Dallas Museum of Art is pleased to be one of only two venues to present these bold and captivating posters from Paris at the the turn of the 19th century,” said Maxwell L. Anderson, The Eugene McDermott Director of the Dallas Museum of Art. “The exhibition presents a vast range of the best examples of the artistic posters that defined the city during the Belle Époque.”

Posters were so popular that collectors stole them from billboards almost as soon as they were pasted up. The term affichomanie (poster mania) was invented to describe the craze. New markets emerged to meet the demand; posters were both collectors’ items and fashionable home décor. Print dealers began selling posters, and publishers offered subscriptions to portfolios with the most popular images of the day in more manageable, reduced sizes. The public also sought posters for their collections that were originally censored and their altered designs approved for distribution; a few examples are presented in the exhibition. Posters that found their way into private homes eventually entered the collections of museums all over the world.

Featured at the end of the exhibition is an interactive educational area with learning tools and activities for all ages. Along with educational literature on turn-of-the-century Paris and the posters that embellished the streets, the educational area will explore color lithography through videos of the process, examples of tools used to create the prints, and a series of prints demonstrating color lithography from the University of Dallas. Visitors will be able to create their own affiche artistique inspired by the images found in Posters of Paris to take home or add to the exhibition exit poster wall, re-creating the plastered boulevards of Paris in the late 1800s.

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