Make an impact. Donate today.
For nearly 200 years the combination of imagery and text found on posters has served to advertise performances, goods and services, as well as political viewpoints. Mass-produced, using modern lithographic processes, posters originally had little or no value. They spurred the public’s interest before being discarded. Fortunately, some collectors saw the artistic value in these bits of ephemera that would otherwise have been lost and began preserving them.
The McNay is fortunate to have a small number of these works ranging from Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec’s posters promoting the cabaret appearances of the great 1890s Parisian stage impresario Aristide Bruant to Ben Shahn’s heartbreaking work which sought to open the eyes of the world to the atrocities of the Nazi regime in the 1940s.
The visual language of the poster has had a great influence on the art of the twentieth century and up to the present day, as seen in the works of Shepard Fairey which are also featured in the show. Other artists included are Alphonse Mucha, Pierre Bonnard, Joan Miro, and Angel Bracho.
A highlight of the exhibition is Charles Gesmar’s Mistinguett, which features an Art Deco portrait of the highest paid singer and actress of the 1920s. This recently acquired poster, one of the largest prints ever produced, is over ten feet tall.
Off the Wall: Posters as Art is organized for the McNay Art Museum by Lyle W. Williams, Curator of Prints and Drawings, Curator of Modern Art; with Rafael Fernando Gutierrez Jr., the inaugural Douglass Foundation Intern in Curatorial Studies.
Funding is most generously provided by The Jane and Arthur Stieren Fund for Exhibitions.
Image: Joan Miró, Poster for an exhibition of the artist’s work, held at the Galerie Maeght, 1948. Lithograph. Collection of the McNay Art Museum, Bequest of Mrs. Jerry Lawson, 1994.142. © Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ ADAGP, Paris
Since 2011, the Spotlight exhibition series has celebrated the remarkable achievements of student artists reflecting on one work in the McNay collection.…
The Art of Color presents a cross section of works in the McNay's Collection based on color.
The Art of Books presents rare volumes, historical texts, and artist-made books.
The Studio, a creative interactive space, places the McNay’s mission of engaging a diverse community in the discovery and enjoyment of the…
San Antonio Artist Allison Gregory presents pop-inspired works that take the form of paintings, sculptures, and functional objects.
This exhibition features artwork by women acquired by the McNay from 2010 to the present.
Beyond Reality presents artwork by four Texas-based artists, Carlos Donjuan, Angela Fox, Ernesto Ibañez, and Dan Lam, whose work features imagined realities.