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Book review: Katherine Hauser on Ruth E. Iskin, The Poster: Art, Advertising. Design, and Collecting, 1860s-1900s

26 August 2015

The Poster as Modernist Progenitor

Review of:

Ruth E. Iskin, The Poster: Art, Advertising. Design, and Collecting, 1860s-1900s, Hanover, New Hampshire: Dartmouth College Press, 2014, 408 pp., 48 col. plates, 140 b & w illus., $50.00 pbk, ISBN 9781611686166

Katherine Hauser 13/KH1

Abstract: Ruth E. Iskin’s The Poster: Art, Advertising. Design, and Collecting, 1860s-1900s positions the late-nineteenth-century advertising poster as the progenitor of valued modernist practices typically attached solely to photography and film. Modernist biases separating high art from mass culture account for scholars ignoring posters, however the poster ushered in an innovative reductive graphic style as well as pioneered the notion of multiple originals.

Keywords: Ruth E. Iskin, poster, advertising, Walter Benjamin, Clement Greenberg, chromolithography, aura

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