Posters a la Carte: Food and drink posters from absinthe to Jello

Mon. through Sat.10 am to 6 pm and Sun. noon to 6 pm Tue, Oct 1 - Fri, Nov 22, 2013

Venue: International Poster Gallery

205 Newbury Street, Boston, MA 02116


Jim Lapides


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International Poster Gallery is proud to present "Posters a la Carte", an exhibition and sale of original vintage Food & Drink posters from the Belle Epoque to the 1960s. The exhibition will trace the development of the food and beverage industry and its use of posters from absinthe to Coca-Cola and from Foie Gras to Jello. Featuring over 50 posters, the show will examine the multitude of approaches taken by poster artists to make their ads memorable - humor, sex, caricature, fantasy, charm and eye popping tromp l'oeil affects, among others.The exhibition begins with a classic 1894 poster by Jules Cheret, the father of the color lithographic poster, for the French tonic wine Vin Mariani, which until 1910 was spiked with cocaine. Effortlessly floating through the air, a beautiful "Cherette" pours a glass and seems to express the carefree pleasure of the age. Two other works in the exhibition capture the essence of the era. Absinthe Parisienne of 1896 reveals the naughty side, with a sorcerer in black tempting a young damsel with the tag line "Try it and you will see." And T.A. Steinlen's famous 1894 portrait of his daughter giving milk to her cats in Lait Pur Sterilise de la Vingeanne captures the era in its most charming intimacy.The Art Deco era of the 1930s, while creating many streamlined, modernist images for food and drink products, did not abandon the use of humor either. Marcello Nizzoli in 1926 created two stunning Cubist inspired posters for Campari, the leading Italian aperitif that had commissioned first-rate posters continuously since the 1890s. The Germans and especially the Swiss pursued the Object Poster, a simple but dramatic style that eliminated most text and focused on the object. A fine example is Herbert Leupin's 1939 poster for Bell of a gigantic carving board with cold cuts and bacon - a visual shock with a touch of levity in the pickle used as garnish. A.M. Cassandre, the most important poster artist of the era, created perhaps the most famous advertising character for Dubonnet that merged Art Deco style with the Cappiello approach in 1932.

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