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about vintage propaganda posters

A note from the Gallery’s owner, Jim Lapides

In 1994, we opened the International Poster Gallery on Newbury Street in Boston. As a collector and private dealer, I wanted to share my passion for propaganda posters with a broader audience. Now, through this website and our online gallery,, we hope to introduce a global audience to the joys of poster art, one of the most important art forms of the twentieth century.

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Our philosophy is reflected in our name: we believe great posters come from every corner of the globe. Unlike most  galleries, which are dominated by French posters, International Poster Gallery features a diverse selection from around the world, especially Italy, Switzerland, the Soviet Union, France, the U.S. and Holland. 

My interest in posters began with a desire to fill bare walls at home and office. To my surprise I found that no one was collecting Italian posters, despite their obvious beauty. Now after a decade of tracking down these great posters, I am proud to say that International Poster Gallery holds the largest collection of Italian poster masterpieces for sale in the world. Over the years we have supplemented our Italian collection with many of the classics from other countries.

Posters represent the intersection of art and commerce, a mixture that reflects my own training and background. After studying Art History at Yale University, where I specialized in Italian Renaissance art, I earned an MBA at Harvard and spent over twenty years in corporate life. The Gallery has allowed me to exercise my twin passions simultaneously!  

One of our major activities has been a full schedule of poster exhibits at the Gallery and various museums. Two of our best were War and Revolution: Propaganda Posters from America in WWI & from the Russian Revolution, and The Italian Poster Rediscovered, the first major gallery exhibition of Italian poster masterpieces in the U.S.

Our exhibitions have been well received by The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Worth Magazine and the Boston Business Journal. (Press clips can be found below.) In 1996 and again in 1998, the Gallery was the only art gallery to receive the Best of Boston Award from Boston Magazine.

The Gallery has been managed since its inception by Richard Hollander, who bought his first poster (Cappiello’s Nitrolian) in the early ‘80s. Richard is assisted by a terrific staff who speak French, German and Italian fluently, and have limited knowledge of Spanish.

We aim to complement our world class collection with superior customer service. Whether you are looking for one poster or want to put together a major collection, we would be glad to assist.

I hope you enjoy our website, and also urge you to visit our Gallery for one of our shows or just to see how original vintage lithographic posters look in person – the ten foot tall Tosca can’t quite be appreciated on a 14-inch monitor!

We are located in Boston’s Back Bay, an area that combines historic buildings, the city’s top art galleries and Boston’s most fashionable shopping streets. Come visit!

International Poster Gallery in the News
Newbury Street - Boston, MA
International Poster Gallery is located on Newbury Street in Back Bay, Boston's most fashionable shopping district.

Boston Magazine Best of Boston Award Winner 1998: "Why? Because no one else can hook you up with an original Art Nouveau Mucha on silk, or a first-edition movie poster from Stanley Kubrick's Lolita."

And from our Best of Boston 1996 award: "For fine original vintage posters from all over the world, this shop is a great choice for the collector or even the first-time buyer."

Wall Street Journal, 1998, where we were featured on a section titled "Art, without Intimidation: Four Fields for Newcomers": "This is probably the one collector's market with the highest potential for modest near-term appreciation, in part because corporations are starting to collect posters."

Boston Business Journal, 1996: "On the walls of International Poster Gallery are vintage posters by the most famous poster artists of the last 100 years. Each is a piece of marketing history, displaying the various styles that have been used throughout the 20th century to sell everything from fashion to motorcycles – even revolution…With a collection of more than 5,000 posters, the Gallery is …the only one in the country to specialize in Italian commercial art."
Where Boston, 1998, The Editor's "A" List: "International Poster Gallery should not be missed. Especially not this month when Larger than Life: The Swiss Object Poster 1919 - 1959 is featured at the gallery through Oct. 22. Considered by many the final phase of the golden age of the lithographic poster, the pieces transform everyday objects into giant icons. If you're normally intimidated by galleries, go anyways, the staff here is smart as hell, but very low key."
Art & Antiques, 1997: "Russian posters of WWII and the Bolshevik Revolution (1917 – 1921) are noteworthy for their powerful graphic design and savvy propaganda – and as relative bargains. ‘We have museum – quality pieces going for under $1,000,’ says Jim Lapides, whose Boston–based International Poster Gallery will begin a six week Soviet exhibition at the end of February."
Boston Globe, 1996: "Revolution by Design, now up at the International Poster Gallery, shows off some of the work of the USSR’s best artists and graphic designers."
The New York Times, 1995: "Advertising then was much like advertising now. This is one of the messages in the exhibition of vintage Swiss, Italian and Dutch posters at the Art Gallery of the Norwalk Community Technical College. The 18 posters are from the collection of Jim Lapides, owner of the International Poster Gallery of Boston…Exhibitions here always allure with bold images and color, and the present one is no exception."
Latitudes (American Eagle Airline Magazine), 1996: "Another kind of advertising is celebrated at 205 Newbury, where the International Poster Gallery showcases a dazzling trove of vintage European and other posters, easily one of the best hordes in the country."
Boston Globe, 1997: "When Red Saw Green: Soviet Advertising and Film Posters of the Twenties" is a fascinating show at the Mass College of Art's Huntington Gallery. Organized by Jim Lapides, owner of the International Poster Gallery on Newbury Street, the exhibition focuses on the New Economic Policy of the 1920s, when the economy was a disaster and the Bolsheviks were forced to allow some private enterprise..."

"...The Mass Art show is a fine addition to a short list [of recent shows on Soviet design in the Boston area.] It's also a must for anyone interested in the history of conveying messages through pictures...These masterpieces of 20th century design were intended to be used and tossed. Instead, they've ended up...on museum walls."

Yahoo! Pick of the Day February 1999: "New to Collecting? International Poster Gallery's primer will help get you started."
Photos: Maurice Harmon, NYC, 1996
205 Newbury Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02116
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