This remarkably detailed poster promotes a rubber company based in New York. Shown is a painterly panorama of the Manhattan skyline from the North River (known today as the Hudson River), with each building and ship identified below. The massive White Star Line's RMS Oceanic is seen departing the harbor on a return trip to Liverpool and Southampton; she was the largest ship in the world until 1901.
For such a striking image, there is no existing information about the Romanus I—or even which battle might be pictured here. Bomb-dropping airships became a popular attack vessel during World War I, so we can only assume that this battlefield scene would have occurred during that time.
The family likeness is clear in this triple portrait of the Sells Brothers, one of the first big touring circuses in the U.S. In 1862, they created a circus. It failed. Then they worked in auctions, following circuses around to take advantage of the crowds to sell their merchandise. They were the Sells Brothers, after all. After taking an interest in Cannonball George Richards, one of the first Human Cannonball acts, they grew their traveling circus from 1872 to 1895, but faced increased competition from Adam Forepaugh and Barnum & Bailey. This poster, toward the end of their reign, attests that they are "sole proprietors" in a burst of family bootstraps pride; two years later, the Sells Brothers would merge with Forepaugh.
Magnificent and ferocious creatures are the focus of this advertisement for the Seils Sterling Circus and their "show of a thousand wonders." Here, wild cats, a camel, and an elephant rest in their natural habitat of grassy plains, exhibiting both threatening bared teeth and more relaxed expressions. This is a half-sheet vertical poster.
Printed in the 1980s, the poster advertises the PBS Masterpiece Theater production of Sunset Song, based on the novel of the same name by Louis Grassic Gibbon. The caption reads: "Love my change, but the land is eternal: A drama set in the Scottish highlands in the shadow of war." It was a six-part series.
Printed in the 1980s, it advertises the PBS Masterpiece Theatre production of Testament of Youth, based on the autobiography by Vera Brittain. The caption reads: "A time when war overshadowed everything except hope."
The Forty Thieves first premiered on stage at Drury Lane in London in 1806; by 1860, it had spawned a wide variety of burlesque adaptations starring women in all of the male roles. An 1886 rendition of the silent play was highly praised: "The most greatly admired aspect of The Forty Thieves was the splendour, beauty, and variety of costumes... Almost all critics agreed that nothing so splendid had ever been seen on the stage; the Echo thought that every scene 'is a beautiful work of pictorial art'" (Victorian Spectacular Theatre 1850-1910, p. vii). Though undated, we believe this pantomime promotion is from ca. 1920.
“Chetvertaya Zhena,” or "The Fourth Wife," was directed by prominent Russian director Joseph N. Ermolieff, who is best known for his 1936 film, "The Czar's Courier." Unfortunately, no information on the actual plot has been discovered, rendering this a simply fascinating piece of graphic work.
Unlike most of Buffalo Bill's Wild West shows and the posters made for them, this scene, depicted for Barnsdale's film screening, is much more graphically dramatic and violent. Most of the posters Buffalo Bill commissioned for his shows employed a further vantage point and less attackers filling the scene—and certainly, less gore! Regardless, it provides an interesting perspective on how advertising imagery had shifted toward the end of Buffalo Bill's life. This version includes a Barnsdale tip-on.
Printed in the 1980s, the poster advertises the PBS Mystery! production of The Seven Dials Mystery, an Agatha Christie thriller. The caption reads: "The alarm was loud enough to wake the dead." It was a two and a half hour dramatic television program starring Cheryl Campbell and Sir John Gielgud. It was hosted by Peter Ustinov.
Two "Laurel & Hardy" clowns are out of the Big Top and on the town for a stroll. Mr. Stout, reading from a songsheet, steadies himself with a short-barreled shotgun for a cane. The taller of the two, smoking from a Meerschaum pipe, has a tea kettle steaming on his head and a doddering pup at his feet. They're clowns; they're not supposed to make sense.
The 1920s propaganda campaign, "Reich Committee for the German referendum," or "Reichsausschuss," aimed to hold a referendum on the acceptance or rejection of the Young Plan—the last of the post-World War I reparations plans that regulated the payment obligations of the German Reich on the basis of the Treaty of Versailles. Here, the tumultuous affair is rendered as a bloodied scene, in which a wagon carrying a mother and child are being tugged from either side, supposedly by figures of good and evil. The text below reads, "Vote 'yes' at the people's referendum to get out of filth, misery, and suffering."
Created to advertise the launch of the Marx Brothers book Why A Duck and illustrated by Hirschfeld, the poster features a film still from the movie Duck Soup, with the lines from the scene captioned below in decorative bubbles.
Even well into Castro's regime, the arts continued to flourish in Cuba. This poster celebrating the 25th anniversary of the country's national ballet company shows the twinned image of a ballerina in midair, dramatically printed as a negative against a navy-blue background.