The Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague presented an exhibition devoted to the artistic posters of the nineteenth century that have changed the perception of Europe. Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Jules Chéret, Howard Chandler Christy, Vojtěch Preissig, František Zelenka, and Vilém Rotter are just a few names that contributed to contemporary art and design and expressed their vision with the help of one medium: posters. 

The installation is set to run until April 9, 2023, so mark that date in your calendar to catch the posters that have changed the media world, including the intersection of art and advertising in our daily lives. 

What is a poster? 

A poster is the main character of the exhibition, but what does it mean for artists, graphic designers, and other minds in the art industry? 

“The poster is a distinctive visual communication medium that combines, to varying degrees, the aesthetics of so-called high art with the visual schemes of pop culture,” explained the notion of the poster organizers of the exhibition. 

Most people perceived posters as commercial mediums rather than a piece of art, like paintings of van Gogh or Michelangelo: “It was never created without a commission, and its form was influenced by a range of non-artistic considerations, from the requirements and tastes of the commissioner, marketing strategies, and the target audience.” In other words, people saw posters everywhere, similar to the ads that appear on our smartphones today, and there was nothing artistic about this. 

However, by the end of the nineteenth century, everything had changed for the better, with more value being placed on artwork. Posters evolved into something else due to the evolution of graphic design, the enhancement of historical and cultural values, and the increased interest in figures in art, history, and culture.

In particular, people started viewing them as “an important document of cultural heritage and a precious cultural and historical source, which has only been appreciated in recent years in connection with the development of multidisciplinary visual studies,” noted exhibition representatives on the website of the installation. 

Řeč plakátu 1890–1938: the poster power

The installation has already taken us back to the nineteenth century. Time when contemporary art has shaken the world with its untraditional approaches to showing the most traditional and standard products, services, or cultural attractions. A vivid example of such posters could be a brand-new car advertisement or an announcement about a theater play. 

Interestingly, the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague has one of Europe’s oldest and most significant collections of posters. “There are 280 posters on display, complemented by twenty other exhibits, mainly contemporary art magazines, and books,” said the exhibition representatives on their official websites. 

In the exhibition, posters are divided into three logical categories that are easy to follow: art, advertising, and ideology, followed by the artworks of international and local artists. For instance, you can perceive the masterpieces created by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Jules Chéret, Howard Chandler Christy, Vojtěch Preissig, František Zelenka, Vilém Rotter, and other creative minds.


The entrance fee to the exhibition is 150Kč for adults, like a coffee with a cake, yet better as we talk about European posters’ culture, art, and history and how they changed the world. For children, students, and the elderly, the ticket will cost only 80Kč with a valid ID. 

The tickets can be purchased on the GoOut portal or at the venue.

Getting here 

The easiest way to get to the exhibition is to take public transport to Staroměstská station. You can use the tram, metro, or bus, whichever is more convenient for you. After your visit, you can enjoy the beauty of Prague in its heart, the Old Town. 

Sofia Chesnokova

Sofia Chesnokova

Passionate about digital marketing, copywriting, and Prague! Let's connect 🙂
Sofia Chesnokova
Sofia Chesnokova
Feel free to send me a quick message on LinkedIn: