119 West 23rd Street
New York, NY 10011
Open: Sunday 10:00am-6:00pm/Monday-Wednesday Closed/ Thursday-Saturday 10:00am-6:00pm
Admission: Adults $12.00/Children Over 18/People with Disabilities/Students & Educators/Veterans $8.00. Children under 18 and Members are free (please check website for changes)
My review on TripAdvisor:
The Poster House is a little gem of a museum that I must have passed many times and never knew it was a museum. I had never heard of this museum before. The Poster House is dedicated to the history and art of posters and how they impact our lives as a way of communication. I got a chance to see the whole museum in about two hours.
The first exhibition on the first floor of the museum was “Utopian Avant-Guard: Soviet Film Posters of the 1920’s”, a retrospect on the film industry during the Silent Era. It was a time with the fall of the Czar and the coming of Communism where artists tried to shape the new face of Communism before the rigidity of the party controlled the whole film industry from the end of Silents until the Fall of Communism in the early 1990’s.
“The Utopian Avant-Guard: Soviet Film Posters of the 1920’s” exhibition
During the early years of the Communism, the country was going through radical changes that were not facing the rigid standards of the future Communist Party. Artists and film makers were getting their creativity from the West from countries in Europe and the United States. The creative class got to experiment with film and adapted what they saw to their own markets. This did not last long as Communism took hold and then started to control the content that was shown in the country. This continued from the Silent Era until the mid 1990’s when Communism fell.
Movie Poster from the 1920’s: ‘Six Girls Seeking Shelter’ from 1928
There were two interesting exhibitions on the lower level on artist and poster maker Ethel Reed. The exhibition was a collection of her work for magazines, books and film. She handled all sorts of mediums and was prominent for many years in the industry until her work fell out of fashion and her behavior became erratic with addiction.
“Ethel Reed: I am my own Woman”
The last exhibition that I toured was “Experimental Marriage: Women in Early Hollywood”, women whose role in in the film industry included writers, directors and producers. It showed how the influential women were in the industry before it became corporate. It also showed how actors had a lot of say in their films and the themes of the films were more female based. As things got concentrated in California and became more unionized, it became more of ‘Good Old Boys’ network as the industry became more streamlined.
What I liked about the museum is that it showed the politics from all angles and explained its progression and future in these industries.
The museum also has a nice gift shop and bookstore and a small restaurant, Café des Affiches.
History & Mission of the Poster House:
(From the Museum website)
The Poster House is dedicated to presenting the impact, culture and design of posters, both as historical documents and contemporary visual communication.
Through temporary exhibitions, a growing permanent collection and educational events, Poster House explores the enormous impact of posters on society and culture and how they have been adapted to contemporary use. As the first poster museum in the United States, The Poster House provides a space for inquiry for all those interested in design, advertising and public interventions with an aim to improve design literacy among the general public.
*Mass communication and persuasion
*the intersection of art and commerce
*control of the public domain
Poster House was founded in 2015 with an eye towards filling a long-acknowledged gap in the New York cultural landscape for accessible art and design. After several years of planning and construction, Poster House opened its doors on June 20th, 2019.
Poster House is proud to receive support from the New York State Council of the Arts. Poster House is an affiliate member of the International Vintage Poster Dealers Association.