Salle d'exposition de la BNU (2e étage)
6, place de la République
Horaires d'ouverture :
Lundi : 14h-18h
Mardi - vendredi : 12h-18h
Fermé les samedis, dimanches, jours fériés et le 13 juillet
Visites guidées du lundi au jeudi sans réservation : Rendez-vous à 15 h en salle d'exposition.
Commissaires de l'exposition :
François Pétry, ancien conservateur en chef du patrimoine à la DRAC Alsace
Marie-Laure Ingelaere, bibliothécaire, responsable de l’iconographie à la BNU
Lika, Dorette, Hella, ... Femmes affichistes en Alsace
Presentation of the exhibition
The BNU has a large iconographic collection (posters, drawings, engravings, etc) that enables it today to rediscover the preponderant role played by women in the development of the decorative arts and advertising in the twentieth century in Alsace. The BNU intends to "do justice" to them by organising this exhibition.
Some of these women artists are well known - Lika Marowska and Dorette Muller, for instance - but most are less well known - the likes of Lisa Krugell and Marguerite Jaggi-Forrer; others have either been almost totally forgotten, or ignored - Mia Jacoby, Johanna Hipp, Hella-Arno, Marie-Thérèse Supper, etc. There are currently very few studies and little research on their work and their contribution to graphic art in Alsace.
Examination of the biographies of these artists, who were active in Alsace between 1900 and 1980, before the appearance of computer-assisted techniques, shows that a large proportion of them were foreigners, either born outside France (Lika Marowska's parents were "Old Germans"; Marguerite Jaggi was born in Latvia to Alsatian parents and began her training in the Baltic countries; Mia Jacoby is German; Hella-Arno (Hélène Spitzer) was born near Brno, in the Austro-Hungarian Empire). Thus a very significant contribution to poster art in Alsace has been made by European women.
Large collection of posters and advertising material at the BNU
The BNU has a full range of these artists' work. The library benefited greatly from the acquisition of the Solveen collection (more than 600 posters, mainly from the period from 1910 to 1950),and it has also acquired almost the entire collection of the Hella-Arno agency when it was being dispersed. The Hella-Arno Collection comprises almost 2000 items, including a very large number of posters, preparatory studies, original sketches and models, press announcements, publicity packaging, etc.
The items on display are mostly from the BNU's iconographic collection, with the addition of items from other collections in the hands of institutions and a number of individuals. They make it possible to trace quite spectacularly and fully, over a period of almost eight years, the world of the regional poster and to highlight the remarkable role played by women in this field.
Choice of documents
The exhibition will present posters, original models, press announcements, photographs, publicity items, original decorative items, pop-ups, and other items created specifically by the artists. The exhibition will emphasise more particularly the major role they played in the press, with the example of Hella Arno, who worked at the "Dernières Nouvelles d’Alsace" (local newspaper). The items on display will also include a number of paintings, works by these artists, and portraits. The exhibition will follow in chronological order almost three generations of women, and develop a number of publicity themes (such as the food industry, brewing, clothing, household appliances, sports, tourism, festivities and dances, etc). Regional creation will be placed in the perspective of the main periods in the history of the poster - Art Nouveau, the emergence of poster artists, and the seizure of power by advertising agencies. As a counterpoint, a number of posters by male artists will also be on display.
Apart from the guided visits, led mainly by the exhibition's curators, there will also be:
- a presentation and discussion with publicity and illustration specialists
- a presentation of short advertising films from the Fifties and Sixties (Institut National de l’Audiovisuel – Grand Est, a specialist firm in Strasbourg such as Thomsel, etc)
- a more specific event with people from the printing trade (Espace Gutenberg, etc)
- a musical event on the mutual influences of advertising and songs
The exhibition catalogue - 166 pages and 180 illustrations - will include:
- a history of the art of the poster in Alsace in the twentieth century (movements, workshops, printers, etc), with the contribution made by women placed in perspective
- a presentation of the role of these artists in the daily press and a study of the work of Hella Arno at the "Dernières Nouvelles d’Alsace"
- notes on training for poster artists, and on their sources of information (artists' documentation) and the techniques used
- biographical notes on the artists represented and a presentation of their graphic work
- a specific section on the various publicity media used