Travel and movies star in new exhibits at NYC’s Poster House

Image Courtesy of Poster House

Posters. Many people grew up with them tacked to their bedroom walls. But there is more to a poster than just aesthetic appeal, as detailed in two new exhibits now open at the Poster House museum in Manhattan.

The exhibits at the Chelsea location showcase New York City travel posters that depict nostalgic scenes of the city, as well as popular movies posters that moviegoers will recognize.  

Wonder City of the World: New York City Travel Posters

Many of the historic travel posters featured in this exhibit are designed in an art-deco style. The exhibit, Wonder City of the World: New York City Travel Posters, brings museum-goers back in time to the city’s golden age of travel that was highlighted by railways, ocean liners and emerging airlines. 

The colorful exhibit highlights 80 works that follow a timeline of how New York City was represented to travelers, immigrants and tourists beginning in the late 1800s all the way through the 1970s. 

image of a travel poster showing a TWA plane and NYC, which is part of a Poster House exhibit
Poster depicting an early TWA plane flying over NYC, 1947. Image courtesy of Poster House.

According to the museum, the phrase “Wonder City” was originally coined by marketers and appeared in dozens of newspaper and magazine advertisements, as well as articles, postcards and souvenir booklets. The city’s explosive growth during this time ultimately led to the creation of more travel posters than were designed for any other city in the world, the museum said. The images included scenes of the city as seen from the water, ground and air.

Curated by Nicholas D. Lowry, the exhibit showcases how the legendary artists were able to capture so much that is the city, selling its bright lights and iconic landmarks such as Lady Liberty, Grand Central Terminal and Rockefeller Center.

Iconic artists whose posters are exhibited include Charles Edward Chambers, Adolph Treidler, Joseph Binder, Sascha Maurer, Edward McKnight Kauffer, Donald Brun, Tomoko Miho Henri Ott, Guy Arnoux, David Klein, Weimer Pursell, Horace Taylor and Stanley Walter Galli. 

The exhibit is open through Sept. 8, 2024.

The Anatomy of a Movie Poster: The Work of Dawn Baillie

Big-screen buffs will enjoy this exhibit curated by Angelina Lippert that features modern movie posters designed by Dawn Baillie. The posters feature films made over the past 35 years, including blockbusters such as “Dirty Dancing,” “Silence of the Lambs” and “Little Miss Sunshine.”

Indian Jones movie poster
Movie poster of “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade,” 1989. Image courtesy of Poster House

As a founding partner of BLT Communications, Baillie and her team continue to work with movies studios and filmmakers, collaborating on branding for new films through movie posters and ad campaigns. 

The exhibit is open through Sept. 8, 2024.

What you need to know about visiting the Poster House

Where is the Poster House located?

The museum is located at 119 West 23 St., Chelsea.

When is it open?

Hours are Thursday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Friday, 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

How much are tickets?

$12; $8, seniors older than 60; free for ages younger than 18. Admission is free every Friday. Admission is on a a walk-in basis only. 

For more information visit posterhouse.org.