The Art of the Literary Poster: The Leonard A. Lauder Collection

Rudnick, Allison, with essays by Jennifer A. Greenhill, Rachel Mustalish, and Shannon Vittoria
2024
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Spurred by innovations in printing technology, the modern poster emerged in the 1890s as a popular form of visual culture in the United States. Created by some of the best-known illustrators and graphic designers of the period—including Will H. Bradley, Florence Lundborg, Edward Penfield, and Ethel Reed—these advertisements for books and high-tone periodicals such as Harper’s and Lippincott’s went beyond the realm of commercial art, incorporating bold, stylized imagery and striking typography. This book, based on the renowned Leonard A. Lauder Collection, explores the craze for literary posters, which became sought after collectibles even in their day. It offers new scholarly perspectives that address the aesthetic sophistication and modernity of the literary poster; the impact of early experiments in the field of advertising psychology; the expanded opportunities for women artists, who played an important role in advancing the so-called poster style; and the printmaking techniques that artists employed in this novel art form. A lively survey of a little-known but highly influential period in graphic design, The Art of the Literary Poster is sure to delight enthusiasts of illustration, advertising, and book arts.

Met Art in Publication

Portrait of a Young Man, Bronzino (Agnolo di Cosimo di Mariano)  Italian, Oil on wood
Bronzino (Agnolo di Cosimo di Mariano)
1530s
Study for Harper's, April, Edward Penfield  American, Ink, watercolor, and gouache with cut and pasted painted papers
Edward Penfield
1894
The Chap-Book: The Blue Lady, William Henry Bradley  American, Lithograph
William Henry Bradley
1894
Yosemite legends, Florence Lundborg  American
Florence Lundborg
1904
The Century, May, Robert J. Wildhack  American, Lithograph
Robert J. Wildhack
1908
Bradley: His Book, Vol. I, No. 1, William Henry Bradley  American, Periodical with letterpress (relief process) illustrations
William Henry Bradley
May 1896
The Chap-Book: Pegasus, William Henry Bradley  American, Lithograph
William Henry Bradley
September 1895
William Henry Bradley
November 1904
The Captured Cunarder by William H. Rideing, Elisha Brown Bird  American, Lithograph
Elisha Brown Bird
1896
The Red Letter, Elisha Brown Bird  American, Lithograph
Elisha Brown Bird
1896
The Poster, March (Miss Art and Miss Litho), Elisha Brown Bird  American, Lithograph
Elisha Brown Bird
1896
The Chap-Book (The Twins), William Henry Bradley  American, Lithograph
William Henry Bradley
1894
The Chap-Book, Thanksgiving Number, William Henry Bradley  American, Lithograph
William Henry Bradley
1895
When Hearts are Trumps by Tom Hall, William Henry Bradley  American, Relief
William Henry Bradley
1894
The Chap-Book (The Pipes), William Henry Bradley  American, Lithograph
William Henry Bradley
1895
The Echo: Chicago's Humorous and Artistic Fortnightly, William Henry Bradley  American, Lithograph
William Henry Bradley
1895
Bradley: His Book (The Kiss), William Henry Bradley  American, Lithograph and woodcut
William Henry Bradley
1896
The Modern Poster, Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, William Henry Bradley  American, Letterpress (relief process) on gray paper
William Henry Bradley
1895
Bradley: His Book (Beauty and The Beast), William Henry Bradley  American, Lithograph and letterpress
William Henry Bradley
1896
Victor Bicycles, Overman Wheel Company, William Henry Bradley  American, Lithograph
William Henry Bradley
1896
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Rudnick, Allison, with essays by Jennifer A. Greenhill, Rachel Mustalish, and Shannon Vittoria. The Art of the Literary Poster: The Leonard A. Lauder Collection. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2024.