|Performing Arts Posters
The Performing Arts Posters (2,100 posters, 1840s-1930s) incorporates posters advertising burlesque, minstrel, vaudeville, operetta, and magic shows
as well as “legitimate” theater.
Three women in window flirting with three men outside window. Copyright 1898. Prints and Photographs Division.
POS - TH - STO, no. 27 [C size].
With their depictions of such luminaries as Anna Held and Fanny Rice, the posters provide an avenue for exploring both the
role women played in the entertainments themselves, and the ways in which their images were used to lure prospective audiences
to the shows.
Searching the Collection
Catalog records for all of the Performing Arts Posters can be found in the Prints and Photographs Online Catalog, where the
collection has its own listing (Posters: Performing Arts Posters). Digitized images accompany the records.
The online records provide access by title and type of show, poster producer, topics such as “Mothers,” and “Servants,” as
well as to the names of particular theater companies and entertainers. A researcher hunting for images of African American
singer Sissieretta Jones, for instance, could discover through a name search an 1899 poster featuring a portrait of her and
advertising her as “The Black Patti . . . the greatest singer of her race” [picture].
Go to the Prints and Photographs Online Catalog (PPOC)