Art Nouveau poster exhibition in Samara

In the year of the first jubilee - the 10th anniversary of the Museum of Modern at the Kurlin Estate in Samara - a large-scale exhibition of advertising lithographs (03.11.2022 - 29.01.2023) was organised with the objects from the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts. The Art Nouveau poster exhibition includes 88 advertisements from France, Belgium and Holland, made in the leading inter-war style at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries.

The widespread reign of Art Nouveau was due to the publicity of expressive street advertising. The new style became instantly popular all over the world. An influential French critic Octave Uzanne wrote in 1895: "It seems to me that posters should serve as aesthetic banners in the hands of representatives of the new movement, who are fighting for the renewal of our taste and our consciousness. On the old walls of our cities - a place for the young apostles of Art Nouveau!"

In the twentieth century, the artistic value of posters was recognised by museum curators, and collections of prints appeared in museum collections. However, the specifics of poster material, not meant for long-term storage, led to a situation in which the state of preservation of these posters was a problem for exhibiting them. Cheap cellulose paper is prone to drying out and darkening, becoming brittle and crumbling. The sheets require serious restorative preparation before being displayed.

Of the 88 works in the exhibition, 59 lithographs by leading Art Nouveau masters - Alphonse Mucha, Eugène Grasset, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Gisbert Combe, Auguste Donné and others - have been restored specifically for the exhibition.