• Steven Heller

Flowered Polish Type

Most people in the U.S. who know about Polish Posters know about the beautiful surreal cultural, film and theater images from the Communist period.

The first Polish posters appeared in the 1890s created by outstanding painters and florid letterers like Jozef Mehoffer, Stanislaw Wyspianski, Karol Frycz, Kazimierz Sichulski and Wojciech Weiss. Influenced by the Jugendstil and the Secessionist movements, understandably they painted posters that were art-related, announcing exhibitions, theater and ballet performances. Their work was vastly popular, which led to the first International Exposition of the Poster being held in Krakow in 1898. They were well respected, connected with the Academy of Fine Arts and members of the Society of Polish Artists “Sztuka” (Art).

Jugendstil, Secession, Japanism and modernist styles like Cubism were mixed with traditional elements of symbolism and national folklore. What set the Polish posters apart from their European counterparts was the emphasis placed on the highly artistic quality and flowery fluidity of the lettering, an aesthetic that in one way or another continued to characterize the Polish poster throughout the 20th century.

Jozef Czajkowski ,1912.

Jozef Mehoffer, 1910.

Gordon, “Hades.” Joyful and unhelpful things, 1911.

A.n., 1906.

Stanislaw Sawiczewski, Swiat, illustrated magazine, 1907.

Anna Ostrowskia-Gramatyka, 1908.

Stanislawa Paradowska-Gajewska, 1910.

The deadline for the Regional Design Awards has been extended, but only until April 30.

Your judges: Sagi Haviv, Rebeca Méndez, Nancy Skolos, Alexander Isley, Chad Michael, Gail Anderson and Justin Peters.

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