About collecting movie posters

As most of you know, since the beginning of cinema movie posters were always meant to serve only one purpose, and a very practical one at that: to promote a film and to entice the potential moviegoer to buy a ticket. They were intended to be used until worn out and then to be thrown away. Simply temporary advertising material and nothing more! As such, artistic merit in design and execution were not necessarily a prerequisite, although many of them were created by very talented and even accomplished artists.

 

Almost all movie posters up to and throughout the 40s, 50s and 60s were not just designed by artists but also hand-painted by them. The skills of poster artists, of course, varied as much as the skills of artists in other disciplines, but many of them honed their art to such a degree that much of their work inarguably now belongs into the sphere of fine art. This Shop features almost exclusively posters with designs that have originally been hand-painted. Therefore, it concentrates on the art of poster painting.

 

Because poster art of any kind has been one of the main areas of visual communication since the end of the 19th century, it should not be overlooked that almost all printed visual communication is made up of two main elements: pictures and words. Poster artists of all decades since the birth of cinema were aware of this (as indeed is any advertising designer nowdays). Therefore, a poster is truly well designed only if it uses good typography. German poster artists, to mention just one group, were unsurpassed in that respect.

 

It has not been a secret for a very long time now that vintage movie posters have become eminently collectible items, in some cases fetching truly unbelievable prices (the original "Mummy" one-sheet from the 30s sold for close to half a million dollars, the 1927 German poster for “Metropolis” went for as much as $690,000!). Many of the most skillfully painted posters do garner prices in keeping with their artistic merit, but many others also ring in at unbelievably steep amounts, not because of outstandingly skillful artwork, but because they have turned into "cult" items over the years. (Just try to buy an original item from a b/w B-movie like "The Creature from the Black Lagoon"!)

 

However, my main objective in collecting posters has never been on the merit of their market value, but simply on their beauty and the artistic skills that went into their creation. As you look through the collection of posters offered in my Shop, you will notice that the most beautiful ones do not always have the highest price, while the more expensive ones are by no means always the most attractive items. So then, without further delay, blast off into the movie poster galaxy and have a look around this Shop. If you like and appreciate beautiful original movie poster art, you are likely to find many items that are eminently collectible.