Loading Spinner

Exhibition Posters

If the inherent purpose of the poster is to sell, then the exhibition poster has perhaps the greatest compositional challenge, as it can only showcase one scene that effectively encapsulates an entire showcase. The greatest vintage exhibition posters accomplish this with aplomb, using captivating color and catchy text to lure even the most reluctant visitor.

The notion of large-scale exhibition promotion truly took hold during the early days of the world's fairs. First launched in London in 1851 at the behest of England's Queen Victoria, who wished to showcase the world's greatest advances in industry and technology, the concept of the large-scale showcase soon caught on elsewhere around the world. The field of poster art caught up to this burgeoning tradition in the latter years of the 19th century.

By the beginning of the 20th century, exhibition posters were commonplace. From upcoming Olympic games to blockbuster art showings, the exhibition poster evolved into an art form of its own that was equal parts artistic expression and marketing acumen. Today, exhibition posters are cherished by poster art aficionados for these qualities in addition to their heritage in the shared visual record.


Quick Facts

  • Though the art of the poster developed much later, the use of the term poster originated in the 1830s as a general reference to any advertisement or notice displayed prominently in public
  • Some of history's most notable artists lent their skills to exhibition poster design, including Art Nouveau expert Alphonse Mucha, French painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, and even late 20th century Push Pin Studio designer Milton Glaser
  • A poster promoting the French release of the 1938 film, "Bringing Up Baby," starring American actors Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn, sold at a Christie's London auction in late 2015 for $105,353

Recommended Items at Auction

See all items

Roy Lichtenstein ''The Red Horseman'' Signed Poster
Oct 21, 5:00 PM PDT
Roy Lichtenstein ''The Red Horseman'' Signed Poster
by MBA Seattle Auction LLC
Est: $300- $600
$4758 Bids
bp parity badge
SALVADOR DALI INAGURACION TEATRO MUSEO POSTER
Nov 07, 9:00 AM MST
SALVADOR DALI INAGURACION TEATRO MUSEO POSTER
by Bradford's
Est: $0- $0
$657 Bids
bp parity badge
VICTOR VASARELY "REPONSES A' VASARELY" SILKSCREEN
Nov 07, 9:00 AM MST
VICTOR VASARELY "REPONSES A' VASARELY" SILKSCREEN
by Bradford's
Est: $0- $0
$355 Bids
bp parity badge
Long Point Gallery Exhibition Poster with original art by 12 artists, 1977
Oct 23, 1:00 PM EDT
Long Point Gallery Exhibition Poster with original art by 12 artists, 1977
by Bakker Auctions
Est: $1,000- $1,500
$6503 Bids
bp parity badge
Georges Braque, Lotto composto di 2 manifesti. 1974-82.
Oct 27, 10:00 AM CEST
Georges Braque, Lotto composto di 2 manifesti. 1974-82.
by Gonnelli Casa d'Aste
Est: €80- €160
€801 Bid
bp parity badge
Bernard Buffet, Lotto composto di 2 manifesti. 1978-79.
Oct 27, 10:00 AM CEST
Bernard Buffet, Lotto composto di 2 manifesti. 1978-79.
by Gonnelli Casa d'Aste
Est: €100- €200
€1001 Bid
bp parity badge
Paul Colin, Lotto composto di 4 manifesti. 1973-86.
Oct 27, 10:00 AM CEST
Paul Colin, Lotto composto di 4 manifesti. 1973-86.
by Gonnelli Casa d'Aste
Est: €100- €200
€1001 Bid
bp parity badge
Israel Museum for M.C. Escher Exhibition Poster
Nov 07, 12:00 PM EDT
Israel Museum for M.C. Escher Exhibition Poster
by Neely Auction
Est: $100- $200
$501 Bid
Alexander Calder ''Calder Celebration'' 1973 Poster
Oct 21, 5:00 PM PDT
Alexander Calder ''Calder Celebration'' 1973 Poster
by MBA Seattle Auction LLC
Est: $200- $400
$1001 Bid
bp parity badge
Alberto Magnelli, Lotto composto di 3 manifesti. 1973-1987.
Oct 27, 10:00 AM CEST
Alberto Magnelli, Lotto composto di 3 manifesti. 1973-1987.
by Gonnelli Casa d'Aste
Est: €100- €200
€1001 Bid
BALET, Jan (1913 Bremen - 2009 Estavayer-le-Lac). 2 naive Werke + Ausstellungsplakat.
Oct 28, 9:00 AM CEST
BALET, Jan (1913 Bremen - 2009 Estavayer-le-Lac). 2 naive Werke + Ausstellungsplakat.
by Auktionshaus Wendl
Est: €0- €0
€601 Bid
Pitigliani New York Harbour Festival 1977 Poster
Nov 03, 10:00 AM CDT
Pitigliani New York Harbour Festival 1977 Poster
by Revere Auctions
Est: $100- $200
$201 Bid
Group of Modern Art and Exhibition Posters
Oct 26, 10:00 AM EDT
Group of Modern Art and Exhibition Posters
by Material Culture
Est: $200- $400
$1001 Bid
Claes Oldenburg Signed 1975 SAM Exhibition Poster
Oct 21, 5:00 PM PDT
Claes Oldenburg Signed 1975 SAM Exhibition Poster
by MBA Seattle Auction LLC
Est: $300- $600
$1501 Bid
ROY LICHTENSTEIN. 'MASTERPIECE', 1962, HAND SIGNED
Oct 24, 12:00 PM EDT
ROY LICHTENSTEIN. 'MASTERPIECE', 1962, HAND SIGNED
by Luxury Fine Arts
Est: $2,000- $4,000
$1,0001 Bid
A VINTAGE GALERIE MAEGHT POSTER MARC CHAGALL
Oct 30, 10:00 AM EDT
A VINTAGE GALERIE MAEGHT POSTER MARC CHAGALL
by Antique Arena Inc
Est: $100- $150
$101 Bid
2pc Vintage Pablo Picasso Exhibition Posters
Oct 21, 5:00 PM PDT
2pc Vintage Pablo Picasso Exhibition Posters
by MBA Seattle Auction LLC
Est: $300- $600
$1501 Bid
Joan Miro Galerie Maeght Exhibition Poster
Nov 07, 12:00 PM EDT
Joan Miro Galerie Maeght Exhibition Poster
by Showplace
Est: $400- $600
$1000 Bids
Andy Warhol Signed Poster, Galerie Jurka 1983
Nov 07, 12:00 PM EDT
Andy Warhol Signed Poster, Galerie Jurka 1983
by Showplace
Est: $800- $1,200
$1000 Bids
Joan Miro - Poster for Miro Exhibition at the Musee
Nov 11, 12:00 PM EST
Joan Miro - Poster for Miro Exhibition at the Musee
by Dane Fine Art Auctions
Est: $9,000- $12,500
$3,5000 Bids
bp parity badge
Roy Lichtenstein 1967 Pasadena Museum Poster w Sig
Nov 07, 12:00 PM EDT
Roy Lichtenstein 1967 Pasadena Museum Poster w Sig
by Neely Auction
Est: $200- $300
$1000 Bids
Frank Stella - Whitney Museum of American Art: Prints
Oct 28, 12:00 PM EDT
Frank Stella - Whitney Museum of American Art: Prints
by Dane Fine Art Auctions
Est: $6,500- $9,000
$2,5000 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Exhibition Posters


Poster Auctions International Inc

Poster Auctions International Inc

Antikbar Original Vintage Posters

Antikbar Original Vintage Posters

Art Atelier

Art Atelier

Dane Fine Art Auctions

Dane Fine Art Auctions