10 2005 Kultura English
obálka čísla

The exposition of advertising posters from the collection of the Industrial Arts Museum which opened in the Prague Obecni dum( Municipal House) represents the years 1900-1930. At that time, Prague was changing from a provincial town to a modern metropolis and later became the capital of an independent republic. It is especially the poster that offers a unique document of this transformation.

By the end of the 19th and at the beginning of the 20th century, the large lithographic poster in Prague( somewhat belatedly after Paris, London, New York, and at the same time as in Vienna) becomes an integral part of the city and its many streets , squares and interiors of public places. The purpose of a poster is to offer something, to induce, to tempt, to sell. And it does not matter whether the object is a sewing machine, coffee, cosmetic products, underwear or a car, or whether it announces an exhibition, a circus production, a magic show, or a club ball or dance. The technique of enticement is always the same- shown as effective already in the 70’s and 80’s of the 19th century: An extremely colorful picture complemented by large unusual script to catch the attention of the public. The first "preserved" colorful poster was created in 1900 and it was followed by many until 1930. After that year the Depression years arrived and the posters are mostly produced by collage and by new forms of typography.

The exhibited posters fall into several categories: posters advertising dances, balls, celebrations, formal evenings organized by various organizations. Other posters invite people to circus performances, and magic shows. And finally there are posters that advertise a new entertainment field- the moving pictures.. Some of them are produced as linocuts. There is also a collection of programs of various activities, period costumes and many photographs.

The exhibition at the Obecni dum( Municipal House) is open until January 8, 2006. A Czech-English visitors’ guide with many illustrations is also available.

Olga Szymanska
Translated by
Marie Dolansky

Vydavatelem Českého dialogu je Mezinárodní český klub

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