The Ross Art Group, Inc., a Midtown New York gallery has announced the exclusive “In the Beginning” rare vintage poster exhibition to take place Thursday, September 18th through Saturday, October 18th. The retrospective of the era is the most varied display that has appeared in many years. A special VIP reception will take place on Thursday, September 18th. The rare collection features extraordinary original French vintage posters from artists such as Henri de Toulouse Lautrec, including his Jane Avril Snake Dress recently exhibited in New York’s prestigious Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). One of Toulouse-Lautrec’s most compelling posters, dated February 1899, it is known to be the last one he made for Jane Avril, who entered a clinic that March. It features a fine portrayal of Jane Avril, not as a Japanese geisha, but as a flirtatious girl of her time encircled with snakes, which were prevalent in the jewelry of that period.
A preeminent artist of Belle Epoque Paris, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901) brought the language of the late 19th century avante-garde to the public through his posters, prints and illustrations for journals and magazines. He created a bridge between the brothels and society salons of the time. His works gave people a window into Parisian life including politics, culture, and popular entertainment including cabarets and café concerts. The “In the Beginning” exhibit features 8 original works by Toulouse-Lautrec.
Other highlights of the exhibition include an exceptionally rare and highly sought after Frou Frou by Lucien-Henri Weiluc (Lucien-Henri Weil), a rare advertising image that graced the cover of the first edition of the famed “Le Frou Frou” satirical humor magazine published in Paris (1900). This poster was created to advertise the new magazine and features a rare muted color palette as compared to his Belle Epoque counterparts. Weiluc was born in 1873 and died in 1947, and was best known as a French illustrator and cartoonist. His cartoons were published in various newspapers including La Vie Parisienne and L’Assiette au beurre. He actively participated in the Salon des Comedians (1907-1909) and became the head of the League of cartoonists. The exhibition will also feature a rare lithoograph of the Frou Frou image printed by Weilluc in a smaller format, as well as the ultra-rare first edition of Frou Frou for which these designs were created.
The highly collectible Alphonse Mucha (1860-1939) is yet another artist to be featured in “In the Beginning”. Mucha had the idea of personifying the four seasons, and had much success with the1896 suite of decorative panels that the artist executed again thematically in 1897 and 1900. Mucha was a Czech Art Nouveau painter and decorative artist, famous for his distinct style and flattering portrayal of women. His many paintings, illustrations, advertisements and designs have been featured in museums and he is among some of the most sought after artists of our time. The Ross Art Group will feature his third set, The Seasons of 1900, his final series.
Other highlights of the exhibition include a pair of decorative panels from Abel Truchet titled, “Le Quadrille” and “Les Danseuses”, Jules Cheret’s “Theatre da le Tour Eiffel” and also his “Moulin Rouge,” Mucha’s most famous large format “Job,” Lautrec’s “La Troupe De Mlle Eglantine,” Steinlen’s “Motocycles Comiot-Before Letters” poster and Mucha’s “Bieres De La Meuse” amongst many more prized pieces of illustrated European poster history.
Original vintage posters of such influence have commanded masterpiece prices at auction. Much of the attention in the late 1970s and beyond began to focus on French artists like Lautrec, Mucha, and Cheret but posters from other artists of the Art Nouveau/ Belle Epoque period remain highly sought after as the market matured. Museum shows have developed into new discoveries of such posters every year. The “In the Beginning” exhibition offered at The Ross Art Group will afford collectors, art aficionados, fans and historians a chance to experience posters from a period of time which exemplify unprecedented imagery, storytelling and art from the beginning of the era of the modern poster.
The opening reception of the exhibition will take place on Thursday, September 18th from 5pm to 8pm. The Ross Art Group is situated in the heart of Midtown Manhattan at 532 Madison Avenue (at 54th St), 4th Floor and offers full design services, in additional to custom framing of all types of art. Their full collection of Original Vintage Posters can be found online at: www.rossartgroup.com. To RSVP for the reception or confirm media coverage please email [email protected] or [email protected]. Media is invited to email or call the press contact for advance showings and interviews on-site. Hi-res images available by request.