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Poster facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Poster with Uncle Sam pointing at viewer as part of the United States government effort to recruit soldiers during World War I, with the famous legend "I want you for the U.S. Army".

A poster is a large piece of printed paper that has a picture of something. Posters are made to be shown on a wall or other flat surface. Posters may be used for advertising, education, propaganda, and decoration. They may also be copies of famous works of art.

Chromolithography and the poster

Chromolithography (colour lithography) was invented by Engelmann and son, who were granted a patent in 1837. After that, it was a matter of time before it reached full commercial development.

Because of its low production costs, over the 50 years after the American Civil War, millions of chromolithographs were printed and were sold for under $10. Louis Prang, a Bostonian, produced fine-art subjects, such as still lifes, landscapes, and classical subjects. Nevertheless, it was only after the Jules Chéret posters, in 1847, that the potential of this technical process for creation of artistic posters was realized.


Jules Chéret

19th century posters in the US

Louis John Rhead

Edward Penfield

Toulouse-Lautrec and Post-impressionism

Art nouveau posters and the impact of graphics on painting

Posters in the first half of the 20th century

Posters were used for war propaganda, to encourage young people to enlist in the army, and to sell government war bonds. From a strictly artistic view the posters were unimaginative and far from the masterpieces of the late 19th century posters. The posters almost all came with a caption to bang the message home.

Images for kids

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Poster Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.