Collecting Posters

The procedure of lithography was discovered by German Aloys Senefelder towards 1796. Around 1860 after all the printing techniques developments, lithography remained relegated to commercial purposes and mainly to the manufacture of posters

The main function of a poster has been and continues being to advertise a commercial message. Spanish posters have always made its function joining the different artistic movements from each decade. Posters began to be designed by our outstanding 19th century artists that transported their beautiful paintings from linen to paper, then posters had curves and modernist goddesses, Decorative arts made its way by dressing, combing and embellishing elegant women. Graphics arts during the late 50’s and early 60’s, studied the fecundity, imagination and domination of the commercial techniques. The 20th century -isms styles of art, also left tracks in numerous posters, as well as regressive tendencies and vanguards have been means of expression and communication. Therefore, it can be said that our posters not only represent the history of advertisement, but as well the history of Spanish painting.

Possibly many of us couldn’t afford to have an original painting by Garcia y Ramos, Riquer or Tapies, nevertheless, posters are a genre of minor art that are possible to acquire and to expose on our walls, not only designed by the mentioned artist buy by many others. It is fantastic to admire the way Ramón Casas created the advertisement for anisette Anis del Mono, or just the way Joan Miró designed the Football World Cup poster. However, my favourite posters are not always the “maître de la affiche”, there are posters designed by extraordinary anonymous artists, that are unsurpassable and some posters have no market worth, yet they are overflowed with sentimental value, this could be the example of a small poster I have from the first bullfight my kids went to when they were only 3 and 1 years old.

Unfortunately we are very little whom love and enjoy this singular world of original posters, but I have experienced a positive fact,; what at first was an exclusive matter for collectors, has become to be a matter for decorative arts for all tastes and for all public.

( Published on PAPERANTIC, collecting bookclet #2, March 2004).