Louis Rhead - The century, Christmas number., Art Nouveau Poster
Local Accession Number: 2012.AAP.321.Title: The century, Christmas number..Creator/Contributor: Rhead, Louis, 1857-1926 (artist).Date issued: 1890-1920 (approximate).Physical description: 1 print (poster) : lithograph, color ; 50 x 35 cm..Summary: A woman holds a tray holding a peacock over her head. .Genre: Book & magazine posters; Lithographs.Subjects: Women; Peacocks.Notes: .Date note: Date supplied by cataloger..Statement of responsibility: Louis J. Rhead.Collection: American Art Posters 1890-1920.Location: Boston Public Library, Print Department.Rights: No known restrictions.
Posters spread rapidly in Europe and America. Poster exhibitions were staged in Britain and Italy (1894), Germany and Switzerland (1896) and in Russia (1897). National styles established themselves soon. The leading American poster designers were William Bradley and Edward Penfield, famous for his illustration and advertising placards for Harper's New Monthly Magazine. William H. Bradley - known as the "American Beardsley" - made his reputation from poster design. Famous for producing The Twins (1894), the first American Art Nouveau poster, Bradley's style blended features of the Arts and Crafts Movement, Japanese block printing and Art Nouveau.
Louis' father was a highly respected gilder and ceramic artist. In the 1870s, George Rhead taught art and design in Staffordshire schools and founded Fenton School of Art. Louis and all his siblings attended their father's art classes and worked in the potteries as children. Because Louis demonstrated exceptional talent, when he was thirteen in 1872, his father sent him to study in Paris, France with artist Gustave Boulanger. In 1879 he gained a scholarship at the National Art Training School, South Kensington, London. In 1883 at the age of twenty-four, Louis Rhead was offered and accepted a position as Art Director for the U.S. publishing firm of D. Appleton in New York City. He married and lived in Flatbush, Brooklyn for forty years. In the early 1890s, Rhead became a prominent poster artist. During the poster craze of the early 1890s, Rhead's poster art appeared regularly in Harper's Bazaar, Harper's Magazine, St. Nicolas, Century Magazine, Ladies Home Journal, and Scribner's Magazine. In 1895 he won a Gold Medal for Best American Poster Design at the first International Poster Show in Boston. Louis Rhead was one of the most creative, fresh-thinking, and stimulating of American fly-fishing writers, a man of extraordinary gifts. His death was somewhat unusual. A portion of his obituary in The New York Times, Friday July 30, 1926: LOUIS RHEAD, ARTIST AND ANGLER, DEAD. Exhausted Recently by Long Struggle In Capturing a 30-pound Turtle. ... About two weeks ago Mr. Rhead set out to catch a turtle weighing thirty pounds which had been devastating trout ponds on his place, Seven Oaks. After the turtle was hooked, it put up a fight for more than half an hour. Although Mr. Rhead was successful in the end, he became exhausted. A short time later he suffered from his first attack of heart disease. Yesterday's was his second.