Collecting Vintage Theatre Posters
We were proud to have our vintage posters featured in London's Financial Times in February, 2019! This wonderful article delved into the rich history of theater posters over the years, with a highlight on art deco posters.
“We tend to sell such posters to people looking for a pleasing image to adorn their wall rather than to collectors,” says another specialist New York dealer, Mickey Ross, who has a beautiful Marc Chagall poster ($2,800) designed for the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte in 1967, alongside a witty 1934 design ($1,100) by French artist Georges Dola for Le Comte de Luxembourg, a Franz Lehár operetta. The appeal of such pieces needs little explanation, says Ross: “After all, the whole point is that they are explicitly designed to catch the eye.”
It is common to see these wonderful vintage posters adorned with more text than, say, a product poster. In the pre-television world, the general public would be interested to know the composer, actors, and even musicians involved in the production. If adapted from a novel, the poster would likely point this detail out (as seen in the above poster by Dola for 'Le Pays du Sourire'). All of these design details culminated in showing the public that a night out at the theater was worth the spend. Costumes are often also on display, and would be a cause of much fanfare.