Posted: March 28, 2019

Color lithograph exhibition evokes fin de siècle Paris

Color lithograph exhibition evokes fin de siècle Paris
IMAGE CREDIT: Eugène Grasset, La Marque Georges Richard/Cycles & Automobiles, 1899, color lithograph, Photograph by John Faier, © 2015, The Richard H. Driehaus Museum.

Taft Museum of Art hosts premiere of L’Affichomania: The Passion for French Posters
June 8-Sept. 15 as first stop on five-city tour

CINCINNATI, Ohio – As the 19th century was coming to a close, vivid, visually seductive artwork began appearing on the streets of Paris in the form of commercial posters – affiches – promoting everything from goods and services to events and entertainment. This new art-as-advertising hybrid was catalyzed by the expansion of France’s laws governing freedom of speech coinciding with advances in color lithography. The result was a colorful, dramatic artform that epitomized La Belle Epoque.

Parisians were captivated by the posters, and collecting them became all the rage. Nearly 140 years later, a collection of some of the best examples of the form will be on exhibit in L’Affichomania: The Passion for French Posters, debuting at the Taft Museum of Art June 8 through Sept. 15.

The exhibition is curated by Jeannine Falino, independent curator, museum consultant and professor specializing in decorative arts, craft and design. It features approximately 60 color posters dating from 1875 to 1910, all from the fine and decorative arts collection of the Richard H. Driehaus Museum, Chicago. The Taft Museum of Art is the exhibition’s first stop on a five-city, cross-country tour.

L’Affichomania: The Passion for French Posters features artists Jules Chéret, known as the father of the poster craze, Eugène Grasset, Théophile Alexandre Steinlen, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Alphonse Mucha, whose 1911 Princess Hyacinth graces the cover of the exhibition’s accompanying catalogue.

“These artists, in particular, were masters of the medium,” said Deborah Emont Scott, the Louise Taft Semple president/CEO of the Taft Museum of Art. “Though working in different styles, each was able to captivate the Parisian public through distinct uses of color and line.”

The exhibit is of particular relevance to the Taft Museum of Art. Benefactors Charles and Anna Taft collected French fine and decorative art and made at least two trips to France during the period of l’affichomania.

“The Tafts were great admirers of French culture,” Scott said. “They would have seen such posters on their visits to Paris in 1901 and 1903, for example.”

Tickets to L’Affichomania: The Passion for French Posters are included in general admission: $10 in advance or $12 at the door; seniors $8 in advance or $10 at the door. Taft Museum of Art members, youth 18 and under and veterans/active military receive free admission. Sunday admission is free for all.


WORKSHOP | French Bistro Hands-On Cooking
June 20, 6-9 p.m.
Findlay Kitchen, 1719 Elm Street, 45202

Join Tablespoon Cooking Co. in partnership with the Taft Museum of Art for this hands-on cooking class. Led by Tablespoon’s chef-instructors, you will make French classics like salade lyonnaise and steak frites while enjoying specially selected French wines. When the cooking is finished, everyone will enjoy the meal together. Your ticket includes instruction from Tablespoon’s professional chefs, complimentary glasses of French wines, all the food you cook and enjoy during class, and any leftovers to take home! Tickets are $80. Priority registration for Taft members. For more information or to register, visit

TALK | Art on the Boulevard: The Belle Epoque Poster
June 27, 6:30 p.m.

The new color posters of the Belle Epoque brightened the streets of Paris and transformed life in the city. Exhibition curator Jeannine Falino will consider the circumstances that brought about the Belle Epoque poster, the leading artists of the medium and the posters’ effect upon the city of Paris. Special exhibition open 5:30-6:30 p.m. Museum gates open at 5:15 p.m.

FREE. Cash bar. Reservations recommended: (513) 684-4516 or

Thursdays, July 12, Aug. 1, Sept. 6
Exclusively for Taft members and their guests!

Join Taft Museum of Art Assistant Curator Ann Glasscock for an enlightening overview of the lively posters of L’Affichomania. $10 members; $15 guests of members with guest pass; free for members at the Sustaining level and above. Reservations recommended: or (513) 684-4516.

July 27, 1-4 p.m.

Join graphic artist James Billiter for an afternoon of screen printing! Participants will mix and match pre-made designs to create their own unique screen-printed poster inspired by the exhibit L’Affichomania: The Passion for French Posters.

$35 Taft members; $45 non-members. Includes all workshop materials and Museum admission.

James Billiter: July 28, 2:30 p.m.
Erin Barker: Aug. 10, 2:30 p.m.

See our special exhibition through the eyes of an artist! Join local artists James Billiter and Erin Barker for a tour of L’Affichomania that highlights what, from their perspectives, makes this exhibition extraordinary.

July 28 pricing: Free for Taft members; $5 non-members
Aug. 10 pricing: $5 Taft members; $15 non-members
Reservations recommended: or (513) 684-4516.

Aug. 3, 1–3 p.m.

Learn to create Instagram-worthy hand lettering with illustrator Erin Barker. Participants will use basic brush-pen skills to create an original hand-lettered design inspired by the posters of L’Affichomania. $35 Taft members; $45 non-members. Includes all materials, including a brush-pen to take home, and Museum admission.

FAMILY ART ADVENTURES | L’Affichomania: The Passion for French Posters
July 28 or Sept. 8, 1 p.m.

Explore the galleries and make memories at the Taft through this fun and interactive experience. Families will be led on an exciting adventure through the exhibition using games and other hands-on activities. Space is limited! Registration is recommended. Ideal for ages 8 and up.

Free. Registration: or (513) 684-4516.

About the Taft Museum of Art

Once home to Charles and Anna Taft – President William Howard Taft’s half-brother and his wife – the Taft Museum of Art is one of the finest small art museums in the U.S. The museum houses Charles and Anna Taft’s renowned collections of European and American fine and decorative arts and Chinese porcelain in a downtown 1820 National Historic Landmark and graceful 2004 addition. The Taft Museum of Art is dedicated to providing captivating, exceptional and accessible visual encounters with truly great art through its collections, exhibitions and programs. Its special exhibitions bring the collection to life in dynamic new ways for diverse audiences.

The Taft Museum of Art is supported in part by the generosity of individuals and businesses that give annually to ArtsWave. The Ohio Arts Council helps fund the Museum with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans. The Taft Museum of Art is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.

The Taft Museum of Art is located at 316 Pike St. in downtown Cincinnati. For current hours and admission prices, please visit

# # #

Media contacts:
Emma F. Caro
Director of Marketing and Communications
Taft Museum of Art

Lynnette Werning
Founder and President
Blue Water Communications

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Related Articles

This article has no other related articles.

Scroll to Top
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin