During the late 19th century in France, entertainment for the general public developed and grew, influencing popular culture. Among the new forms of entertainment was the cabaret, where people could drink, eat, and see live shows in a loose, high-spirited setting. In the 1880s, cabarets began opening all over Paris, eventually spreading to other European cities and the United States. Artists, writers, and other members of the creative set were in the mix of the crowds who enthusiastically patronized the Parisian cabarets.

The singers and dancers who performed in the cabarets enjoyed growing acclaim for their talents. Artists furthered their rising celebrity by producing images of them and their audiences. Innovations in printmaking enabled artists to make and disseminate numerous copies of their work. They designed posters promoting cabarets, as well as the art salons, concerts, and readings on offer to the public—ushering in graphic design and advertising.

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