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A Concise History of Posters

A Concise History of Posters

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The poster as we know it dates back no further than 1870, for it was then that the perfection of techniques in colour lithography first made mass production possible. Yet in only a hundred years it has come to be recognized as a vital art form, attracting the great portrayers of contemporary life Toulouse-Lautrec; the designers of Art Nouveau; the Symbolists and Cubists; the revolutionary artists and typographers of the Bauhaus and De Stijl; and the hippies and other underground elements of the 1960s. John Barnicoat's entertaining and informative book surveys poster art from its beginnings to the present day, tracing the demands of commerce and politics, of popular taste and other sociological factors, on its development. The principal movements in art have also influenced the various experiments in poster design, but, farfrom being limited to the role of an imitation easel painting for the masses, the poster has in turn reacted positively upon painting. Mr Barnicoat's book shows that the special position of the poster - midway between the artist and society - has contributed much to the history of modern art. More than 70 colour plates and 200 black and white illustrations from many countries have been especially selected by the author to make his history international in scope, and an extensive bibliography provides an invaluable reference source for students.