12/10/2020

America’s First Poster Museum

 

Before the digital media age, posters played a tremendous role in shaping modern society. Posters first came into existence in the mid-19th century, and graphic designers have displayed their talents in various fashions.

 

Simplistic designs, propaganda pieces, and symbolic images have been utilized to transform opinions of the masses. Although modern technology has shifted the medium of artistic design, posters still have a coveted place in American history.

 

A museum paying homage to the poster seems long overdue, and there's finally a place to browse through the most influential designs. Let’s put America’s first-ever poster museum underneath the microscope and see what future visitors can expect.

 

Where is the Poster Museum?

The Poster House is located in New York City within the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan. An easy way to reach the museum is by taking the 1 train to the 23rd Street Station, or by taking the R or W to the 28th Street Station.

 

23rd Street is only one block from the Poster House, while 28th Street is roughly a 10-minute walk away. Madison Square Park and the iconic Flatiron Building are two popular nearby attractions.

 

Due to heavy traffic and expensive parking, driving to the Poster House isn't recommended. Either fly into one of the local airports or take the train to New York City and rely on public transport during your visit. 

 

If you plan on visiting the museum before checking into your hotel, you have the option to store any extra luggage in NY to travel lighter.

 

About the Poster Museum

This was the first museum in the United States to emphasize posters and their unique history. First opening to the public on June 20, 2019, it’s one of New York City’s newest additions to its long list of prestigious museums. 

 

Before the founding of the Poster House, there had never been an exhibit solely dedicated to how posters changed society. The museum analyses the development of posters from the past century and the impact of advanced technology. 

 

Posters decorating the museum range from the late 1800s to the 21st century, and visitors can gauge the persuasion, artwork, and communication of each.

 

Things to Know During Your Visit

 

Whether you’re accompanying a disabled individual to the Poster House or joining a large group of friends, there are several details you should know before your visit:

 

       Care Worker – If you’re a care worker escorting a museum visitor, you get free entry.

 

       Bags & Coats – Belongings will be checked before entry is allowed into the museum. You’re able to check in bags and coats without a fee, but you’re responsible for them during your visit.

 

       Strollers – If you have a baby with you, strollers cannot be stored at the museum unless you’re with an educational program.

 

       Guided Tours – Free guided tours are offered when you pay for an admission ticket into the museum. The tours last approximately one hour and you’ll gain a tremendous amount of knowledge from expert docents.

 

     Groups – For those arriving in groups of more than 10 individuals, you must book your visit in advance. There is a form to fill out for group tours and you can inquire about additional info for group visits.

 

       Opening Hours: Wednesday-Monday from 11am to 6pm (closed Tuesday).

 

Poster House Activities

The Poster House features all sorts of interactive exhibits that include fascinating posters that have captured imaginations for decades. Visitors can delve into the fundamentals of making an impactful poster and have the chance to unleash their creative talents.

 

Here are some of the best ways to enjoy your time inside the Poster House:

 

       Photo Booth – Have you ever wanted to be featured on a poster in front of the masses? This activity gives you the chance to feel what it’s like to be the centerpiece of a poster. Your picture will be taken, and you’ll get to see your face on a cool graphic design.

 

       Poster Machine – How about designing a poster instead? The Poster Machine lets you brainstorm and think of ways to entertain or persuade others. Put your design talents to work and make a poster worthy of being placed on an enormous billboard.

 

       Billboard – Speaking of a billboard, this activity brings you face to face with a massive advertisement. See what goes into making a billboard and get closer to one than ever before.

 

   Digital Poster Wall – If you don’t have time to gander at each physical poster in the museum’s collection, the Digital Poster Wall is a convenient alternative. Many of the greatest posters in their collection are featured here, and you’ll have them at your fingertips like the real deal.

 

       Café – Need a coffee break or a sweet treat during your museum visit? Stop by the Café Des Affiches for iced coffee, croissant, brownie, or your preferred pick me up while touring the exhibits.

 

     Gift Shop – To take a piece of the Poster House home with you, stop by the museum’s shop to browse through all sorts of interesting items. Find posters, books, apparel, home décor, and other accessories for a daily reminder of your visit.

 

Poster House Exhibits

Throughout the year, the Poster House has intriguing exhibits that feature posters and artwork that appeal to a wide variety of interests. Some of the most prominent past exhibits include:

 

   Posters of the Japan Red Cross Society – Posters from the 1920s that were created to teach children aspects of public health.

 

       Pop Up: Gone Tomorrow – Featuring historic New York City places that no longer exist.

 

       In Our Shop: Paula Scher – A collection of influential graphic designs from renowned designer Paula Scher.

 

With the uncertainty of the Covid-19 pandemic, it remains unknown when the Poster House will reopen its doors. Whenever the museum is able to welcome visitors again, there are several future exhibits lined up to dazzle audiences.

 

Upcoming exhibits include:

 

       Posters for The Tokyo Olympiad – Posters highlighting the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.

 

       Julius Klinger: Posters for a Modern Age – A collection of inspirational works from famous graphic designer Julius Klinger.

 

       Freak Power – Delve into the story of Hunter S. Thompson and his mission to become Sheriff of Aspen, Colorado.

 

Pictures:

https://pixabay.com/photos/poster-bricks-wall-brooklyn-698992/  (New York)

https://pixabay.com/photos/america-architecture-buildings-city-2800896/ (NYC Skyline)

https://pixabay.com/photos/new-york-times-square-nyc-broadway-5066082/ (Times Square Ads)

https://www.pexels.com/photo/roadway-surrounded-by-building-during-nighttime-2901581/ (Ads)

https://pixabay.com/photos/new-york-museum-moma-3518450/ (Poster)

 

Sources: 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poster_House

https://www.posterhouse.org/

https://posterhouse.org/events/#docent-tours

https://www.posterhouse.org/exhibitions/

https://posterhouse.org/visit/

https://posterhouse.org/about/

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