Poster for Bout-de-Zan et le crime au telephone (1914, France, Gaumont, Directed by Louis Feuillade). Lithograph, 40 × 30″ (101.6 × 76.2 cm). Department of Film Collection
  • T2, Theater 2 Gallery
  • T1, Theater 1 Gallery

In the tradition of early-twentieth-century circus and theater advertising, the first film posters are distinguished by their vivid color lithography, range of oversized formats, emphasis on spectacle in design, and direct address of such themes as domestic strife, romance, and patriotism. This exhibition includes posters—selected from a recent acquisition from the renowned collection of Dutch film distributor Jean Desmet (1875–­1956)—for American, British, Danish, French, and Italian films dating from 1912 to 1914, along with rare photographs documenting the earliest sites of film exhibition in the United States. The exhibition is accompanied by a related film series in July and August.

Organized by Ron Magliozzi, Assistant Curator, Research and Collections, Department of Film.