Posters

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Posters have been a vital means of communication, and a familiar feature of our public spaces since the 19th century. Whether promoting products and services, exhibitions and performances, political causes or protests, they are compelling visual evidence of our social and cultural history.

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The V&A has been actively collecting posters on an international scale from the early 20th century to the present day. We now hold the most extensive collection in the UK, with more than 26,000 items, including examples by the masters of the medium – Chéret, Toulouse-Lautrec, Cassandre, McKnight Kauffer – and the work of anonymous activists.

Exploring Posters

Photo of Screenprint poster advertising bands performing at the UFO Club, London, Michael English, 1967, UK. Museum no. E.38-1968. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Screenprint poster advertising bands performing at the UFO Club, London, Michael English, 1967, UK. Museum no. E.38-1968. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Lithograph poster advertising the Nord Express train from Paris to Riga, Adolphe Mouron Cassandre, 1927, France. Museum no. E.223-1935. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Lithograph poster advertising the Nord Express train from Paris to Riga, Adolphe Mouron Cassandre, 1927, France. Museum no. E.223-1935. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Lithograph poster for the Underground Electric Railways Co. of London, Ltd., Edward McKnight Kauffer, 1930, UK. Museum no. E.3338-1932. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Lithograph poster for the Underground Electric Railways Co. of London, Ltd., Edward McKnight Kauffer, 1930, UK. Museum no. E.3338-1932. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of East Coast Resorts by L.N.E.R., lithograph poster, Tom Purvis, about 1925, UK. Museum no. E.744-1925. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
East Coast Resorts by L.N.E.R., lithograph poster, Tom Purvis, about 1925, UK. Museum no. E.744-1925. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Lithograph poster for Job rolling papers, Alphonse Mucha, 1898, France. Museum no. E.260-1921. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Lithograph poster for Job rolling papers, Alphonse Mucha, 1898, France. Museum no. E.260-1921. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Lithograph poster advertising La Loïe Fuller at the Folies-Bergère, Jules Chéret, 1893, France. Museum no. E.112-1921. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Lithograph poster advertising La Loïe Fuller at the Folies-Bergère, Jules Chéret, 1893, France. Museum no. E.112-1921. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Down with US imperialism, Down with Soviet revisionism, screenprint by students from Xian University, 1967, China. Museum no. FE.189-2011. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Down with US imperialism, Down with Soviet revisionism, screenprint by students from Xian University, 1967, China. Museum no. FE.189-2011. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Jane Avril au Jardin de Paris, lithograph poster, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, 1893, France. Museum no. E.705-2000. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Jane Avril au Jardin de Paris, lithograph poster, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, 1893, France. Museum no. E.705-2000. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of On vous intoxique, screenprint, the Atelier Populaire, 1968, France. Museum no. E.1721-2004. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
On vous intoxique, screenprint, the Atelier Populaire, 1968, France. Museum no. E.1721-2004. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Lithograph poster for Tropon powdered eggs, Henry van de Velde, 1898, Belgium. Museum no. CIRC.992-1967. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Lithograph poster for Tropon powdered eggs, Henry van de Velde, 1898, Belgium. Museum no. CIRC.992-1967. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Keep Smiling. Guinness Is Good For You, lithograph poster, John Gilroy, 1936, UK. Museum no. E.131-1973. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Keep Smiling. Guinness Is Good For You, lithograph poster, John Gilroy, 1936, UK. Museum no. E.131-1973. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Lithograph poster for the Berlin Zoologischer Garten, Julius Klinger Germany, 1910, Germany. Museum no. E.614-1915. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Lithograph poster for the Berlin Zoologischer Garten, Julius Klinger Germany, 1910, Germany. Museum no. E.614-1915. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Men who mean business read the Financial Times every day, lithograph poster, Abram Games, 1952, UK. Museum no. E.156-1980. © Victoria and Albert Museum
Men who mean business read the Financial Times every day, lithograph poster, Abram Games, 1952, UK. Museum no. E.156-1980. © Victoria and Albert Museum

Learn more about Posters

Background image: Colour screenprint poster advertising bands performing at the UFO Club, London, Michael English, 1967, UK. Museum no. E.38-1968. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London