DCAD’s ‘Big Picture’ Exhibition Spotlights Vintage Posters

DCAD will display an array of rarely displayed commercial vintage posters from the 1890’s through the turn of the 21st century will adorn the Delaware College of Art and Design’s Toni & Stuart B. Young Gallery as the site’s final exhibition of 2017.

The large-scale pieces making up “The Big Picture: Illustration Art in the Printed Poster” encompass a range of subjects, artists, printing methods and styles. Curated by David Pollack of David Pollack Vintage Posters (www.dpvintageposters.com), the show includes work by some of poster illustration’s greatest masters, including Frank Brangwyn, Ben Shahn, Bernard Villemot, Roy Besser and Tomi Ungerer. Often crossing the border between fine and commercial art, this work didn’t merely sell a product – it also stood as visually powerful imagery worthy of preserving and displaying as an art form in and of itself.

“In many cases, the creators were first and foremost commercial artists,” Pollack says. “Others were known during their careers as leading fine artists, but, when called upon, created illustrations strongly commercial in nature, serving the needs and aims of a client. In the long run, whether by design or accident, the artistic importance of the illustration is what survives.”

Lido Cabaret Vintage Poster Illustration
Rene Gruau’s “Lido Cabaret” Billboard

Among the pieces to be shown will be a full-sized billboard for the Parisian Lido Cabaret from the 1960’s. Created by Rene Gruau, best known for his fashion illustration, this masterful graphic offers an extraordinary example of poster art and design and measures more than 10 feet by 7 feet. Also included will be a pair of rare Shahn CIO voter-registration posters, theater posters by Paul Davis and James McMullan and numerous American and foreign travel advertising and propaganda posters.

DCAD Professor Alexi Natchev, who serves as the area coordinator for the College’s illustration program, coordinated the exhibition’s appearance in the Young Gallery.

An opening reception for “The Big Picture” will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Nov. 3 in conjunction with the monthly Art Loop Wilmington. Also opening that night will be the student-created, student-curated show “Interact,” which will feature three-dimensional work such as sculpture but also include two-dimensional pieces such as paintings and drawings. Items in both exhibitions will be available for purchase.

The student show will remain on display throughout November in the first-floor gallery of DCAD’s Saville Residence Hall at Sixth and Market streets. “The Big Picture” will continue in the Young Gallery, located across from the Saville at 600 N. Market St., into January.

Admission to both receptions and subsequent viewings of the shows are free and open to the public. Young Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Student Gallery hours are by appointment after the opening.

For more information or to arrange a Student Gallery visit, contact DCAD communications director Susan Coulby at 302-622-8000 (office), 302-983-5710 (cell) or scoulby@dcad.edu.


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