Author(s): Sarah Suzuki
Though deeply engaged with painting and drawing, Toulouse-Lautrecs lasting contribution to artistic practice was as a graphic artist. Through his prints and posters, advertisements, and contributions in reviews and magazines, he brought the language of the late-nineteenth-century French avant-garde to a broad public. He ushered in the first print boom of the modern era; taking advantage of lithographys new potential for colour and scale, he made both posters for the streets of Paris and prints for the new bourgeois collectors living room. During his short career, he created more than 350 prints and 30 posters, as well as lithographed theatre programmes and covers for books and sheet music. The Museum of Modern Arts collection of this material is stellar, encompassing over 100 prints and posters, his most important book projects, and many magazines, journals and other examples of printed ephemera. Featuring an overview essay by Sarah Suzuki, Associate Curator in the Department of Drawings and Prints at MoMA, this publication presents thematically organized groupings of Toulouse-Lautrecs prints from the Museums collection, each accompanied by an illuminating essay on the theme.
Sarah Suzuki is Curator in the Department of Drawings and Prints at The Museum of Modern Art.