Always New: The Posters of Jules Chéret,
June 3 – October 13
The first solo exhibition in the United States for the French artist Jules Chéret (1836–1932), Always New, features more than 100 large-scale posters by the genre-defining lithographer.
The colorful and dynamic artworks on view advertise products and pastimes popular with Parisians at the time, including theaters and music halls, newspapers, leisure travel, and cosmetics.
A pioneer of graphic arts and the illustrated poster, Chéret elevated lithography to an art form and transformed Paris’s city streets into what critics termed a “museum in open air.”
He was one of the first artists to bring vibrant, eye-catching advertisements to France. His vivid imagery captivated the public, and the speed with which he produced new designs contributed to the popular notion that rapid change was central to modern life.
Cheret’s new printing methods allowed him to meet the fast pace that advertisers demanded to promote their latest performances and products—and readily replace posters damaged by weather, pasted over, or carried off by stealthy collectors.
Museum audiences will enjoy a deep dive into Chéret’s wide-ranging body of work, which reflects everyday life for the 19th-century Parisian middle class and portrays topics such as socioeconomic status, consumerism, gender, and race that remain relevant today.
On view through Oct. 16, 2022, Always New transports viewers to Belle Époque Paris and demonstrates how these engaging, ephemeral, mass-produced posters became part of the cultural conversation around modern French society.
Plan ahead for your museum visit by viewing admission, directions, events, and dining information at mam.org.
Presenting Sponsorship is provided by James and Susee Wiechmann and the Wilhelm Family Foundation.
The Milwaukee Art Museum extends its sincere thanks to the 2022 Visionaries: Donna and Donald Baumgartner, Murph Burke, Joel and Caran Quadracci, Sue and Bud Selig, and Jeff and Gail Yabuki and the Yabuki Family Foundation.