Global Interest

Within the appendices included in this proposal are listings of a portion of the news sources reporting Polish poster exhibitions around the globe. Also noted is a portion of the museums known to have examples of the Polish poster in their collections. This research only reaches back a few years so it is not intended to be a comprehensive study.

Much of the general public’s knowledge of the Polish poster comes through exhibitions by museums, public and art organizations, galleries and private collectors.

The heightened demand for vintage Polish posters by art collectors and investors corresponds to the high valuations of fine art prices realized in auction sales around the world. Original poster design has become firmly established as a desirable art medium especially where there is a combination of rarity, artistic recognition, innovative composition and design, and appreciation for the poster’s subject matter.

Nowhere has this been evident as much as in the dramatic escalation of prices for rare movie posters. Countries whose import of foreign films led to established artists designing original advertising posters for those films is getting the greatest attention. Poland’s love of movies produced the first innovative designs in movie posters in the world. Beginning in 1947, films imported to Poland all had a unique poster created by the leading artists of the times led by Professor Henryk Tomaszewski (1914-2005), and supported by fellow painters Tadeusz Trepkowski (1914-1954), and Eryk Lipinski (1908-1991). Artist Tadeusz Gronowski (1894-1990), who studied in Paris, created elegantly styled cultural posters for theater, music and exhibitions during this formative period.

The earliest poster biennales showed the world the “new visual styles” being produced in Poland---their work quickly became internationally recognized.

The largest single topical component of The Rosenberg Collection is the vintage movie posters that represent the period 1945-1970’s. They were printed in extremely small quantities---enough for hanging in the streets to advertise movies being shown. These posters were not produced for sale so their rarity has already been established.

Other historically and important portions of the Collection include:

  • Propaganda reflecting the periods of German and Russian control.
  • Social and cultural topics such as health, safety in the workplace, education, literature, travel and sports
  • Jewish culture, theater, exhibitions and remembrance posters
  • Exhibition posters from museums and universities for displays of fine art, rare books, architecture and design symposiums, sculpture and archaeology
  • Examples of product advertising posters during the Communist regime and earlier, are within the Collection

Of Special Note:

It is unique in the annals of art history to identify and extended period when an entire country’s art academies, artists and the public focused their creative energy on a single medium---the cultural advertising poster.

It has been said by leading graphic designers and art critics that the suppression of basic personal freedoms in Poland by a totalitarian government provided the stimulus for such innovative expression. The desire to produce a Polish cultural identity using the poster as a powerful visual communication language kept hope alive and encourage breaking the chains of oppression.