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Don't miss The Ephemera Society 2018 Summer & Winter Fairs

2018 Ephemera fair dates

Sundays · 20 May · 2 December 2018

  • Holiday Inn London Bloomsbury
  • Coram Street
  • London WC1N 1HT
  • United Kingdom
  • Entry £3 · 11am - 4pm · All are welcome
  • Members from 10am with membership cards


Join us! The Ephemera Society is always pleased to welcome new members. Payment can now be made online via PayPal.


The Object of My Affection:
Stories of love from the Fitzwilliam collection

30 January - 27 May 2018

Love is the air

Love is very much in the air in this exhibition, which contains objects alive with the range of emotions that it commands; from admiration and affection, joy and passion, longing and despair, to insults, indifference, grief and remembrance.

The exhibition will showcase the Fitzwilliam Museum’s collection of valentines, which date from the eighteenth century to the twentieth and include a wide variety of sentimental and decorative types as well as comic examples.

Alongside the valentines will be an assortment of other objects relating to the theme of love, including posy rings, love tokens and works by Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882) and James Gillray (1756-1815).

  • The Fitzwilliam Museum
  • Shiba (Gallery 14)
  • Trumpington Street
  • Cambridge CB2 1RB
  • UK
  • More details


The Oxford Fine Press Book Fair

Image of poster

24 - 25 March 2018

Beautiful books, prints and ephemera from some of the world's finest presses.

There will be around 100 stands, including specialist booksellers and related trades and organisations, plus a programme of lectures on Sunday.

  • The Kassam Stadium
  • Grenoble Road
  • Oxford OX4 4XP
  • UK
  • More details


Waving the Red Flag: Chinese posters 1949-1976

Until 2 February 2018

The authorities in the early decades of the People’s Republic of China used posters to instruct and mobilize the general populace.

Image of poster

Artists at first adapted existing styles to communicate communist ideals but later the dramatic poses of socialist realism came to dominate official imagery. This peaked during the high tide of the Cultural Revolution, but other visions of prosperity continued to circulate. Together these posters trace the vicissitudes of political campaigns that continually rolled through the country.

  • National Library of Australia
  • Parkes Place
  • Canberra ACT 2600
  • Australia
  • More details
  • Image: Shanghai shi chuban gemingzu, Yiding yao jiefang Taiwan/We are determined to liberate Taiwan!
    1967, poster; 77 x 107 cm, Asian Collections, nla.cat-vn6454325


Ephemera 38 – “Let me Entertain You!”

15-18 March 2018

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Mark your calendar for the Ephemera Society of America’s thirty-eighth annual conference.

This year's conference selects eight subjects from the vast field of entertainment, dating from the early 19th century to the present day.

Speakers — museum curators as well as entrepreneurs and independent collectors and scholars — will use ephemera — broadsides, posters, invitations, tickets, handbills, programs, advertisements, articles and other memorabilia — to illustrate their subjects: the early days of the American circus, traveling entertainers at the turn of the 20th century, one of New York's earliest pleasure gardens, American's oldest winter festival, a controversial female silent film director, the age of jazz, the short-lived national craze for competitive aviation, the birth of the crossword puzzle, and the history of rock and roll.

  • Hyatt Regency Hotel
  • Old Greenwich
  • Connecticut
  • USA
  • More details


Can Graphic Design Save Your Life?

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Until 14 January 2018

Explore the relationship between graphic design and health in this exhibition from the Wellcome Collection.

Comprising over 200 objects including hard-hitting posters, illuminated pharmacy signs and digital teaching aids, Can Graphic Design Save Your Life? considers the role of graphic design in constructing and communicating healthcare messages around the world, and shows how graphic design has been used to persuade, to inform and to empower.

This exhibition highlights the widespread and often subliminal nature of graphic design in shaping our environment, our health and our sense of self. Drawn from public and private collections around the world, it will feature work from influential figures in graphic design from the 20th century, as well as from studios and individual designers working today.

Can Graphic Design Save Your Life? is curated by graphic designer Lucienne Roberts and design educator Rebecca Wright, founders of publishing house GraphicDesign&, with Shamita Sharmacharja at Wellcome Collection.

  • Wellcome Collection
  • 183 Euston Road
  • London NW1 2BE
  • UK
  • More details
  • Image:
    Smoking is Slow Motion Suicide poster, 1972, Biman Mullick, Cleanair


Designs On Britain

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Until 15 April 2018

Discover how much of the most iconic British design was produced by immigrants to this country.

20th century design in the UK was profoundly shaped by the arrival of pioneering Jewish émigré designers from continental Europe. They brought with them a knowledge of modernism and radically transformed the practice and language of British design.

Don’t miss iconic posters for London Underground, the General Post Office and the War Office created by designers including Dorrit Dekk, FHK Henrion and Hans Schleger.

  • Jewish Museum London
  • Raymond Burton House
  • 129-131 Albert Street
  • London NW1 7NB
  • UK
  • More details
  • Image:
    Falls Are Not Funny poster, designed by Stan Krol, 1967
    © The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents


Red Star Over Russia: A revolution in visual culture 1905–55

Until 18 February 2018

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2017 marks the centenary of the October Revolution. Rebellion brought hope, chaos, heroism and tragedy as the Russian Empire became the Soviet Union, endured revolutions, civil war, famine, dictatorship and Nazi invasion. A new visual culture arose and transformed the fabric of everyday life.

The core of this exhibition comes from the extraordinary collection of photographer and graphic designer David King (1943–2016). He started his collection of over 250,000 items relating to this period while working for The Sunday Times Magazine in the 1970s. The collection was acquired by Tate in 2016.

This show is an opportunity to see the rare propaganda posters, prints and photographs collected by King – some bearing traces of state censorship. Including work by El Lissitzky, Gustav Klutsis, Dmitri Moor, Aleksandr Deineka, Nina Vatolina and Yevgeny Khaldei, it is a thrilling journey through a momentous period in world history.

  • Tate Modern
  • Bankside
  • London SE1 9TG
  • UK
  • More details
  • Image:
    Adolf Strakhov, Emancipated Woman – Build Socialism!, 1926, Lithograph on paper,
    The David King Collection, Tate


National Theatre Posters

Until 31 March 2018

Exhibition posterCurated by Rick Poynor, Professor of Design and Visual Culture at the University of Reading, this exhibition explores the evolution of poster design at the National Theatre, showcasing many classic examples.

From 1963 to the present day, each art director led the theatre’s graphic design studio in creating images for posters, programmes and now digital artwork. The exhibition features posters designed by Ken Briggs, Richard Bird, Michael Mayhew, Charlotte Wilkinson and current Creative Director Ollie Winser and the Graphic Design team.

The exhibition will include original posters, interviews with past and current Art or Creative Directors and will trace the changes in process, design and function over the past 50 years.

  • National Theatre
  • Upper Ground
  • South Bank
    London SE1 9PX
  • UK
  • More details


Radiant with Color & Art: McLoughlin Brothers and the Business of Picture Books, 1858-1920

Until 3 February 2018

Cover of Christmas book

The Grolier Club of New York hosts this exhibition based upon the collections of the American Antiquarian Society (AAS), the display explores the variety of juvenile imprints created by the McLoughlin Brothers, an under-studied but very influential children’s literature publishing concern.

Founded by John McLoughlin Jr. and Edmund McLoughlin, the firm was one of the first to concentrate exclusively on works for children, producing illustrated books as well as printed paper dolls, toy soldiers, games, and valentines.

They created 1,000 titles in about 150 series between 1860 and 1890. McLoughlin Brothers reached both low- and middle-class customers by diversifying its stock and offering various price points for its products, ranging from one penny to a dollar per book.

Through strategic partnerships and collaborations the brothers expanded their distribution nationwide. They also repurposed their imprints to cross-promote and sell other items such as clothing and food and worked with D. Appleton and Company to create Spanish-language imprints that were sold throughout Latin America.

Radiant with Color & Art portrays the accomplishments and technological innovations of the McLoughlin Brothers publishing firm as well as exploring the early history of American juvenile literature publishing; early children’s publishing in New York City; depictions of humour, race, and social mores; and the many ways the firm portrayed Cinderella and Christmas over time, among other subjects.

  • Ground Floor Gallery
  • Grolier Club
  • 47 East 60th Street
  • New York, NY 10022
  • USA
  • More details


Criminal Lives, 1780-1925: Punishing Old Bailey Convicts

Until 16 May 2018

Between 1700 and 1900, the state stopped punishing the bodies of London’s convicts and increasingly sought to reform their minds. From hanging, branding and whipping the response to crime shifted to transportation and imprisonment.

By the nineteenth century, judges could choose between two contrasting forms of punishments: exile and forced labour in Australia, or incarceration in strictly controlled ‘reformatory’ prisons at home. Which was more effective?

Image of prison punishment

This exhibition traces the impact of these punishments on individual lives, following the men, women and children convicted in London from the crime scenes and trials through their experiences of punishment, and on to their subsequent lives.

  • London Metropolitan Archives
  • 40 Northampton Road
  • Clerkenwell, London EC1R 0HB
  • UK
  • More details


Poster Girls: A century of art and design

Until January 2019

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Poster Girls will highlight some of the key female artists who have designed for London Transport and Transport for London including Dora Batty, Herry Perry, Laura Knight, Anna Zinkeisen, Margaret Calkin James and Freda Lingstrom.

The artists and featured work will be examined and contextualised by both the era in which they lived and worked and their style, looking at influences both from within the design community and from the wider world.

As well as stunning original posters from London Transport Museum’s collection, Poster Girls will include accompanying material such as letters, ceramics, photographs and original artworks.

  • London Transport Museum
  • Covent Garden Piazza
  • London WC2E 7BB
  • UK
  • More details


Victoria Revealed

Until 17 February 2018

Image of Queen Victoria and children

This exhibition explores the many, often surprising, aspects of Queen Victoria’s character: devoted wife, dedicated mother, devastated widow and powerful stateswoman.

Follow Victoria’s story from the room in which she spent her first moments as queen. Trace her journey from young girl to queen enthralled with a new husband, to grieving matriarch and ruler of a vast empire.

Included in the exhibition are iconic, impressive, beautiful and often deeply personal objects, from Victoria’s simple white silk wedding gown, to the dolls she made, dressed and named as a little girl.

Victoria and the people who surrounded her tell this story: excerpts from her journals, letters and reports from contemporary commentators give insight into the extraordinary life of the woman whose name defined an age.