NYC’s Wonder World: Travel & Movie Poster Art At Poster House

March 6, 2024

Poster House, the first museum in the USA dedicated to the global history of posters (and 30 minutes from Harlem), will present four new exhibitions for the spring season.

The two main exhibitions, Wonder City of the World: New York City Travel Posters and The Anatomy of a Movie Poster: The Work of Dawn Baillie, will open to the public on March 14, 2024.

Two mini-exhibitions, No Escape: The Legacy of Attica Lives! and an extension of the successful fall 2023 show We Tried to Warn You! Environmental Crisis Posters, 1970–2020 will open to the public on April 25, 2024.

Wonder City of the World: New York City Travel Posters, curated by Nicholas D. Lowry, highlights 80 works, that follow a timeline of how New York City was represented to thousands of travelers, immigrants, and tourists during the 20th century. The brilliant 19th-century marketing strategy that coined the phrase “Wonder City” appeared in dozens of newspaper and magazine advertisements, as well as articles, postcards, and souvenir booklets. New York’s explosive growth during this time ultimately led to the creation of more travel posters than were designed for any other city in the world. The images included scenes of the city as seen from the water, from the ground, and, eventually, from the air.

The exhibition is a visual, graphic experience that showcases how artists were able to capture many of the traits that New York City is still known for today, selling the city’s hustle and bustle, bright lights, and its iconic landmarks like Lady Liberty, Grand Central Terminal, and Rockefeller Center, while still capturing personal moments of New Yorkers.

In conjunction with the exhibition, Poster House, in partnership with Abrams, will be releasing Wonder City of the World: New York City Travel Posters, an iconic art book highlighting many of the exhibited works and insightful essays by the show’s curator and other design experts, covering 100 years of how New York City was sold to the world via graphic design.

Artists whose posters are exhibited include Charles Edward Chambers, Adolph Treidler, Joseph Binder, Sascha Maurer, Edward McKnight Kauffer, Donald Brun, Tomoko Miho Henri Ott, Guy Arnoux, David Klein, Weimer Pursell, Horace Taylor, and Stanley Walter Galli.

This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA).

The Anatomy of a Movie Poster: The Work of Dawn Baillie, curated by Angelina Lippert, highlights 34 iconic movie posters that were designed by Dawn Baillie throughout her pioneering 40-year career. Baillie’s designs stand out for their remarkable simplicity and unconventional execution while being some of the most recognizable movie posters in cinematic history.

She designed posters for blockbusters like Dirty Dancing, Silence of the Lambs, and Little Miss Sunshineinspiring curiosity and, in many cases, creating instant icons.

Today, as a founding partner of BLT Communications, Baillie and her team continue to be hired by movie studios and filmmakers to collaborate on branding for new films through movie posters and advertising campaigns.

This exhibit chronicles her career and showcases the evolution of the production and design of movie posters over the past 35 years, from paste-ups to the use of digital technology.

This exhibit highlights the history of some of the most famous movie posters from the 1980s through today, as well as a designer who influenced the trajectory of some of Hollywood’s most acclaimed films.

This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA).

Mini-Exhibitions (April 25, 2024 – November 3, 2024):

No Escape: The Legacy of Attica Lives, curated by Adam Howard, features 18 works that chronicles the Attica Correctional Facility prison riot in 1971, the bloodiest prison rebellion in U.S. history, during which inmates forcefully took over the prison and 29 prisoners and 10 hostages ultimately died.

Related: Get a private curatorial tour of Poster House Museum in NYC.

The Attica uprising was the culmination of a racial reckoning that had been brewing in the United States alongside serious disturbances in prisons and various protest movements over the previous decade.

The uprising at the Attica Correctional Facility galvanized activists and inspired reformers, some of whom channeled their fury into poster art which can be found in this exhibition. Each poster reflects the national passions provoked by the unfortunate bloodshed.

The images aided in keeping the prisoners alive in the consciousness of the public, ensuring that the legacy of the men who fought and died, and those who survived the uprising, would never be forgotten.

We Tried to Warn You! Environmental Crisis Posters, 1970–2020, curated by Tim Medland, charts a modern global history of environmental activism through posters.

The exhibition features 33 works from 1970 through 2020, ranging in style from whimsical to apocalyptic, that have shaped the worldwide public debate on environmental issues including clean energy, endangered species, and air and water quality.

The works examine international awareness campaigns and federal advertisements that aimed to address environmental crises as they evolved from regional problems to a global disaster.

Exhibited works mark important events and movements, including the first Earth Day in 1970, the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency in the United States a few years later, and the UN Conference on Environment and Development in 1992.

Many were commissioned by large corporations and aimed to shift focus onto individual behaviors, encouraging personal forbearance and ethical consumption of resources, while the companies themselves were simultaneously actively lobbying against environmental legislation.

Charitybuzz: Rare Kobe Bryant Game-Used & Signed Nike Sneakers

Artists whose posters are exhibited include Amos Kennedy, Robert Rauschenberg, Per Arnoldi, Tom Eckersley, Freidensreich Hundertwasser, Hans Erni and Milton Glaser, among others. This exhibition is supported by the Simons Foundation.

Poster House

Poster House, which opened in June 2019, is the only museum in the United States dedicated exclusively to the global history of posters. Poster House’s mission is to explore the hidden histories of this art while mapping its role in today’s media landscape and encouraging the continued evolution of design. 

Poster House is dedicated to presenting the impact, culture, and design of posters, both as historical documents and methods of contemporary visual communication. Learn more at POSTER HOUSE, 119 W. 23rd Street, New York, NY 10011, 917.722.2439,,

Photo credit: Little Miss Sunshine.

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