Where Two Swann Departments Collide: Posters for Photography

There are many charming advertising images for consumer products in our upcoming auction of the Julius Paul Collection of Posters, such as lightbulbs, typewriters and beauty-related goods. One area of particular interest is posters that advertise cameras and photographic services. Dating from the late 19th century through about 1920, these are not simple instamatics, but large, leather-cased luxury goods with tripods marketed to the leisure class–many of whom are women. There’s even a poster for an exhibition by a Viennese camera club.


Influential poster artist Adolf Karpellus employed a pretty lady, cute dog and darling little girl to sell cameras in this 1898 image.

This 1919 poster by Atelier Hans Neumann advertised a portrait studio–not sure what cupid is doing in the back there… 

Ferdinand Andri, who designed this 1909 poster for an exhibition of photography, was a member of the Vienna Secession.

The camera proves the perfect stylish accessory for this dapper gentleman’s attire in this circa 1898 poster by an unknown designer.

Theodor Zasche’s Art Nouveau poster promising the best photographic equipment and supplies. 

Men, women and even children enjoy taking snaps in this circa 1908 poster for photographic equipment.