Back Page: Power of the poster reveals a bigger picture
From Toulouse Lautrec to Saatchi as exhibition hails 120-year history
The exhibition will include posters from Toulouse Lautrec to Saatchi and Saatchi, and from "My Goodness My Guinness" to the notorious "Hello Boys" Wonderbra campaign.
The posters, many of them international, are taken from the museum's collection of more than 10,000 originals.
A spokesman for the museum said: "The poster is a very important art form and the exhibition will show its strengths and what makes it such a powerful medium of design, publicity and persuasion.
The exhibition will be divided into three sections, Pleasure and Leisure, Protest and Propaganda and Commerce and Communication.
It will examine their role in society: from children and teenagers plastering them all over their walls in an effort to stamp their own personality on a bedroom to companies' reliance on huge billboards to draw attention to their products.
The performing arts have inspired some of the greatest poster designs such as Lautrec's paintings for the cafes of Montmartre and those for the London music halls. It was drawings such as these, dating back to the 1870s, which first prompted posters to be hailed as street art.
But the poster has also been used as an instrument of persuasion and governments and pressure groups have used it throughout the twentieth century to inform and provoke. Some of the earliest examples were Savile Lumley's "Daddy, What did YOU do in the Great War?" and Fougasse's "Careless Talk Costs Lives". More recently Saatchi and Saatchi have produced controversial election posters such as "New Labour New Danger" for the Tories.
The poster is viewed as an effective and inexpensive means of protest and has been used to further many causes from votes for women to animal welfare and ban the bomb.
Perhaps the most sophisticated use of posters is in advertising. One of the most memorable in recent times was the series of posters for Benson & Hedges cigarettes. But some of the most controversial have proved the most successful, including Wonderbra and Benetton.
The exhibition opens on 2 April and runs until 26 July.
Life & Style blogs
Penis size study: what's 'normal' anyway?
Drugs Live cannabis trial: Hash is less harmful than any other drug, expert claims
What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
Penis size: is there a correlation with sexual satisfaction? A scientific look
Majority of UK women don't bathe or take a shower daily
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
Boris Nemtsov shot dead: Outspoken Putin critic who had expressed fears for his life is killed near the Kremlin
- 1 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 2 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
- 3 Bali nine: Welcome to 'Execution Island' – the Indonesian holiday resort where foreigners are sent to die
- 4 The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
- 5 Why you're almost certainly more like your father than your mother
£45000 - £55000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior VMware Platform En...
£10000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A distributor of specialist ele...
£17000 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A distributor of specialist ele...
£32000 per annum + pension, healthcare & 23 days holiday: Ashdown Group: A gro...