Since the poster campaigns during the First World War, a department for commercial art has been maintained at the LWL-Museum. For a long time, the collection largely thrived as a by-product of documentation – with the museum conserving the posters announcing events and exhibitions that it received with a request to hang them as public notices. Since 1990 this core collecting activity has intensified, since the medium of the poster still accurately reflects mass culture and the changes in artistic style since the late 19th century. From a total inventory of around 30,000 posters, about 3,000 designs are of outstanding artistic quality or of historical significance.
Today, the strength of the collection at the LWL Museum principally lies in posters concerning political campaigns ranging from the First World War, the Nazi dictatorship to the unbridled visual revolts of the years around 1968.
Dr. Gerd Dethlefs, gerd.dethlefs(at)lwl.org