With one of the world's finest collections of antique posters and decorative arts, the Colletti Gallery showcases masterworks from the late nineteenth through the early twentieth centuries. Specializing in important works of the highest quality, Colletti offers a large inventory from the 1890's Belle Époque and Art Nouveau eras through the 1920's and 30's Art Deco and Modern periods.
The poster collection includes pristine works by major artists such as Mucha, Chéret, Toulouse-Lautrec, Cassandre, and Dudovich. The Colletti Gallery also offers exceptional examples of decorative arts by pivotal period artists such as Gallé, Majorelle, Loetz, and Kiss in addition to elegant Biedermeier and Empire furnishings.
Located in downtown Chicago's Oak Street, the Colletti Gallery is an important resource for those interested in collecting artworks -- from the serious collector to the first-time buyer. The gallery's museum-quality posters, furnishings and artifacts provide a rich repository of attainable artworks. As the seasoned collector knows, these works only become more and more rare and, over time, increase in value. While paintings by many of the artists featured are now prohibitively priced for most collectors, original lithographic posters and decorative arts still provide an outstanding opportunity to own a piece of art history.
The vintage poster, a product of the Machine Age and created as advertisement art for the streets, is an excellent choice for collectors who are looking for a strong artwork that brings with it a sense of history and drama. Modern lithography, elevated to an art form by artist Jules Chéret by the late nineteenth century, revolutionized the print industry. This new ability to merge word and image in an attractive and economical format made the lithographic poster a powerful innovation. Many key artists of the period, including Mucha, Toulouse-Lautrec, and Meunier, were enthralled with this new medium, embracing its possibilities.
In this new process, artists would draw their image, in reverse, on blocks of limestone. Each color was then "pulled" separately, making for a painstaking process. The resulting posters were often product advertisements, designed for major visual impact and ultimately posted on building facades and walls. Turn-of-the-century metropolitan centers, once bleak and gray, came to boast of their own "art galleries in the streets."
In addition to their expansive collection of pristine posters, Colletti offers the finest examples of period decorative arts and furnishings from the Belle Époque to the Art Deco periods. Additionally, Beidermeier and Empire furnishings, distinguished by their elegance and simplicity, provide the perfect setting for a growing art collection.