A Puerto Rican Archive of Graphic Design

Lorenzo Homar, La Casa del Arte Exposición, abstraction of a head,  from an archive of over 350 posters, 1972.
Lorenzo Homar, La Casa del Arte Exposición, from an archive of over 350 posters, 1972. Sold for $37,500.
 

Our winter-spring 2020 sale of Vintage Posters on February 13 featured an extensive archive of over 350 posters by Puerto Rico’s most renowned painters, designers and graphic artists, with images ranging from 1960 to 2013. Nicholas D. Lowry, Swann’s Director of vintage posters, touches on the featured artists and the movement that brought these works to light.

 

A Who’s Who of Puerto Rican Artists

 
Lorenzo Homar, Feria de Artesta Onías, grid of colors with hand drawn text, from an archive of over 350 posters, 1966.
Lorenzo Homar, Feria de Artesanías, from an archive of over 350 posters, 1966.
 

The archive surveys five decades of Puerto Rican graphic art, and includes images by Rafael Tufiño, Lorenzo Homar, José Rosa, Analida Burgos, Antonio Matorell, Luis Cajiga, Luis Alonso, Carmelo Sobrino, Eduardo Vera Cortés, Domingo Garcia, Carlos Osorio, Jesus Cardona, José Alicea, Isaac Novoa, Ismael Hidalgo and more. Amassed by a college student in the 1970s, who worked in the studios of Tufiño, Homar and Rosa, a number of the prints and posters have signatures and inscriptions by the artists.

 
José Rosa, 16 mo. Festival de Teatro Puertorriqueño, from an archive of over 350 posters, 1974.
 

The colorful “carteles” advertise a wide range of topics including movies, cultural events, sporting, drama and fine art exhibitions, as well as celebrations both secular and religious. The posters cover a broad spectrum of typographic, geometric, and figurative styles.

 

Additional highlights in our winter-spring 2020 Vintage Posters sale.


 

DIVEDCO

 
Analida Burgos, 4ta Fiesta Adel Acabe del Café, image of a deco guitar with text, from an archive of over 350 posters, 1982.
Analida Burgos, 4ta Fiesta Adel Acabe del Café, from an archive of over 350 posters, 1982.
 

The majority of these posters were produced under the auspices of DIVEDCO, Puerto Rico’s Division of Community Education, which was in operation from 1949 to 1989. The organization was much like the mainland United States WPA program of the 1930s, in that it was responsible for educating the Puerto Rican populace on social issues like health and education, as well as for broader pursuits such the arts, democracy and the economy. The efforts were largely carried out through the distribution of books, pamphlets and films, for which artists designed posters. The division’s work was aimed at educating and “transforming its rural population into a model of modern, democratic citizenry.”1 DIVEDCO was the artistic foundation from which the vibrant Puerto Rican poster tradition sprang. Collectively, these images present a window into the history and rich cultural heritage of Puerto Rico and form a cornerstone of the island’s modern cultural identity.

Smithsonian, “Posters from the Division of Community Education [DIVEDCO] of Puerto Rico, 1949-1989,” Press release, Sept 17, 2008

 

Latin American Posters

 
Sergio Trujillo Magnenat, Bogota 1938 / IV Centenario / Juegos Deportivos Bolivarianos, image of a basketball player, 1938.
Sergio Trujillo Magnenat, Bogota 1938 / IV Centenario / Juegos Deportivos Bolivarianos, 1938. Sold for $4,680.
 

Following up on the recent of Sergio Trujillo Magnenat’s recent market debut with posters for the first Bolivarian Games in 1938, we offered a run of posters for various Latin American sporting events, including Magnenat’s Bolivarian Games design featuring a basketball player, which sold for $4,680.

 

Browse the complete catalogue for the winter-spring 2020 Vintage Posters auction.