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Always New: The Posters of Jules Chéret

June 3–October 16, 2022
Baker/Rowland Galleries
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Exhibitions are included with Museum admission and are free for Members.

Posters by the French artist Jules Chéret (1836–1932) caused a sensation in 19th-century Paris. Known as the father of the poster, Chéret was one of the first artists to bring colorful, large-scale advertisements to Paris streets, creating what critics called a “museum in the open air.” People strolling down the boulevards were captivated not only by Chéret’s vibrant images, but also by how frequently his new designs appeared. Chéret had developed new printing methods that allowed him to meet the fast pace that advertisers demanded to promote their latest entertainments and products. The ephemeral nature of these posters contributed to the popular idea that rapid change was central to modern life.

Always New: The Posters of Jules Chéret presents 109 posters, prints, and drawings by Chéret that reflect the French interest in novelty at the end of the 19th century. Drawn from James and Susee Wiechmanns’ gift to the Museum of more than 600 works by the artist, the exhibition is organized into five sections that highlight the various pleasures his posters publicized: performances, fashion, the press, real and imagined travel, and consumer products. Always New brings Chéret into focus as a master of his medium and demonstrates how these posters reflect larger societal issues in their depictions of everyday Parisian life.


Presenting Sponsors: James and Susee Wiechmann The Wilhelms Family Foundation
Leadership Sponsor: Milwaukee Art Museum’s Friends of Art
Contributing Sponsors: Russ Jankowski Katharine and Sanford Mallin Milwaukee Art Museum’s Print Forum
Media Sponsor: Journal Sentinel
The Milwaukee Art Museum extends its sincere thanks to the 2022 Visionaries:Donna and Donald BaumgartnerMurph BurkeJoel and Caran QuadracciSue and Bud SeligJeff and Gail Yabuki and the Yabuki Family Foundation
Image:
  • Jules Chéret (French, 1836–1932), Musée Grévin [before letters] (detail), 1900. Color lithograph. The James and Susee Wiechmann Collection, M2021.372. Photo by John R. Glembin
  • Jules Chéret (French, 1836–1932), Job (detail), 1895. Color lithograph. The James and Susee Wiechmann Collection, M2021.234. Photo by John R. Glembin
  • Jules Chéret (French, 1836–1932), Halle aux Chapeaux, 1892. Color lithograph. The James and Susee Wiechmann Collection, M2021.192. Photo by John R. Glembin