A poster is worth a thousand dollars | VailDaily.com

A poster is worth a thousand dollars

Andrew Harley

Special to the DailyAmong the posters in the exhibit is this one by Theophile-Alexander Steinlen.

Posters aren’t just for dorm rooms and the bland walls of cubicles.Many of the posters in Christopher & Co. Vintage Posters and Frame Shoppe’s “Masters of the Poster” exhibit have either been in, or are worthy of the walls of the world’s most important art museums – some have seen the walls of the Louvre, MOMA (the Museum of Modern Art) and The Art Institute of Chicago.”The only other place you’ll see these posters put together like this is at a great art museum,” said Steve Woodruff, owner of Christopher & Co. “None of these artists are living, and they’re pretty significant pieces of art.”Woodruff has been in his shop in Edwards for eight years, and has been collecting for the past 25.Among the featured artists are Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, Theophile-Alexander Steinlen, Leonetto Cappiello, Alphonse Mucha, Jules Cheret, Emil Cardinaux, PAL (Jean de Paleologue) and Roger Broders.Many of these artists worked in France during the 1890s and early 1900s.Cheret was largely responsible for the artistic boom within the poster industry, utilizing the technique of lithography – which is a printing technique accomplished through use of metal or stone to illustrate the different color regions of posters – to revolutionize the appearance of posters and consequently transforming the streets of Paris into a literal art gallery.”These are the first few guys to really establish posters as an art form, as opposed to simple black-and-white illustrations,” said Brian Mangual, manager of Christopher & Co. “Cheret was one of the first to color posters and make the images more appealing. He must have done three to 400 posters. There’s actually a Cheret over Monica’s television set in the sitcom “Friends,’ and there’s one in “Frasier.'”The wall of five Mucha posters in the exhibit is worth more than $90,000, which includes the $25,000 “Moravia Teacher’s Choir.”While the posters of Mucha and Cheret’s time were considered art-nouveau, Broders led lithographers toward art-deco, which involves straighter lines and bolder colors.Broders mostly created travel posters for the Paris Lyon Mediterranean Railroad Company.”These posters are a snapshot in time. They allow you to look at the different styles of clothing and equipment that were popular at the time,” said Mangual.Many of the originals at the exhibit were saved from street walls or train stations by people who cherished the images.Though Toulouse-Lautrec’s “Moulin Rouge” – which exchanges ownership to the tune of approximately $300,000 and is considered the T206 Honus Wagner of the poster world – isn’t among the exhibit, the collection is impressive, and most of it’s for sale.”All of the posters are up for grabs except for a few he (Steve) won’t let go of,” said Mangual.For more information, call Christopher & Co. at (970) 926-8191, or visit http://www.christopherco.com.Andrew Harley can be reached at (970) 949-0555, ext. 610, or at aharley@vaildaily.com.Picassos of posters”Masters of the Poster” art exhibitToday through Wednesday, Dec. 31Christopher & Co. Vintage Posters and Frame Shoppe