Twentieth Century Posters is a London based online poster gallery. We only sell original, authentic, posters and related artwork, ephemera and books. Our aim is to offer the best, and most interesting, examples of graphic and information design from the last century, with a focus on advertising, travel, propaganda and war. But we’re just as committed to providing a service for everyone interested in poster history and post regular blogs and resources to share information.
We offer worldwide delivery, consultancy and collecting advice, plus a poster restoration service provided by our friends at PH7. All items for sale can be viewed by appointment or sent on an approval basis. Together with our 100% Guarantee of authenticity, this means that you can buy from us with complete confidence.
Twentieth Century Posters was founded by David Bownes, previously Head of Collections at London Transport Museum, Director of Collections at the National Army Museum, and the author of several books on poster history:
“My passion for posters began in childhood and I’ve been lucky to spend a career curating some of the most significant collections in the UK. This has resulted in a life-long enthusiasm for the subject which I’m now delighted to be able to share via this website. Put simply, posters provide an extraordinary window into the past, whether through the modernism of a McKnight Kauffer or the more humble announcement of a letter press notice. They connect us directly with momentous world events and the aspirations of previous times, often conveyed through outstanding design and printing. The print quality of lithographically produced posters, in particular, is superb and would be considered fine art standard today. Indeed, many prominent twentieth century artists, including the likes of Edward Bawden, are known to have collected posters because they were the best quality reproductions of modern design available at the time.
Given their importance, beauty and rarity, it’s perhaps surprising that good quality posters can still be had for a relatively modest outlay. A well-chosen design can transform a living space and provides a real statement about the individuality of the owner, as well as being a constant joy to behold. It helps, too, that posters have proved to be a sound investment over the past thirty years, and one which shows every sign of continuing to provide a return on investment.
Everything we sell is ‘the real thing’, commissioned, designed and printed at the stated date. We don’t go in for modern copies or ‘museum-quality’ replicas and take a personal, specialist, interest in each item we buy to ensure quality and consistency. Our pricing is based on the rarity, condition and desirability of the item, and we will never inflate a value just to make a quick profit. Similarly, we’re upfront about condition and only recommend museum-approved conservation methods (please see our section on Conservation).
One of the real joys about dealing with posters is the fascinating people you meet along the way, and we’re always happy to encourage discussion about design history or provide more information about the items we have on offer.”