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Prints and Photographs Division



Graphic Journalism and Illustration
Photojournalism Collections
Documentary Surveys
Advertising and Propaganda
Artist Posters

arrow graphicPerforming Arts Posters

Circus Posters

Motion Picture Posters

WPA Posters

World War I and World War II Posters

Yanker Posters
Graphic Ephemera
Pictures: Business and Art
Design Collections
Organizations' Records
Personal Papers



Performing Arts Posters

The Performing Arts Posters (2,100 posters, 1840s-1930s) incorporates posters advertising burlesque, minstrel, vaudeville, operetta, and magic shows as well as “legitimate” theater.

see caption below

Three women in window flirting with three men outside window. Copyright 1898. Prints and Photographs Division.
POS - TH - STO, no. 27 [C size].
bibliographic record

With their depictions of such luminaries as Anna Held and Fanny Rice, the posters provide an avenue for exploring both the role women played in the entertainments themselves, and the ways in which their images were used to lure prospective audiences to the shows.

Searching the Collection

Catalog records for all of the Performing Arts Posters can be found in the Prints and Photographs Online Catalog, where the collection has its own listing (Posters: Performing Arts Posters). Digitized images accompany the records.

The online records provide access by title and type of show, poster producer, topics such as “Mothers,” and “Servants,” as well as to the names of particular theater companies and entertainers. A researcher hunting for images of African American singer Sissieretta Jones, for instance, could discover through a name search an 1899 poster featuring a portrait of her and advertising her as “The Black Patti . . . the greatest singer of her race” [picture].

Go to the Prints and Photographs Online Catalog (PPOC)

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