Jules Chéret: Father of the Modern Poster


Always New: The Posters of Jules Chéret
Milwaukee Art Museum
through October 16, 2022

Jules Chéret (1836–1932), "Folies-Bergère: Loïe Fuller
Jules Chéret (1836–1932), “Folies-Bergère: Loïe Fuller,” 1897, color lithograph on paper, 46 1/2 x 32 1/4 in., Milwaukee Art Museum, James and Susee Wiechmann Collection, M2021.163, photo: John R. Glembin

On view at the Milwaukee Art Museum is “Always New: The Posters of Jules Chéret,” the first U.S. exhibition devoted to the “father of the modern poster.”

Curator Nikki Otten has drawn more than 100 posters from the permanent collection, now America’s largest Chéret holding thanks to a 2021 donation by James and Susee Wiechmann. In the late 19th century, Chéret transformed Paris’s walls into what some called a “museum in open air,” designing and printing thousands of large advertisements for every possible product and service.

Ultimately he elevated commercial lithography to an art form and in 1890 was rewarded with a knighthood in the Legion of Honor. The accompanying 240-page catalogue is the first English-language publication on him.

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