Rare Roaring Twenties poster acquired by Rotterdam City Archives

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Rare Roaring Twenties poster acquired by Rotterdam City Archives
Paul Schuitema (1897 – 1973), TENTOONSTELLING 13 (1927) 39x 27 ¾ inch, 99 x 70,5 cms.

ROTTERDAM.- The Rotterdam City Archives has acquired an extremely rare poster by designer, photographer and filmmaker Paul Schuitema (1897 - 1973). Together with Piet Zwart and Gerard Kiljan, he was founder of New Photography and New Typography in the Netherlands, stylistic forms that gained international fame. His graphic designs for Van Nelle and Van Berkel's Patent, among others, can be found in museums all over the world. His exhibition poster TENTOONSTELLING 13 from 1927 shows modernism at its best, with a sans serif font and the characteristic color combination of black, red and white.

During the interwar period, Rotterdam was one of the leading centers of modernism in architecture, design, film and photography. A pioneer in modernist graphic design, Schuitema worked as a photographer, filmmaker and furniture designer. After WWI, his first major client was Berkel Scales for whom he designed a complete graphic line. His style had its roots in the philosophy of de Stijl and the precepts of the Bauhaus and Constructivists. Later on, he also did work for Philips and the Dutch Post Office. A teacher at the Royal Academy in The Hague, Schuitema's virtuosity at photomontage, New Typography, and graphic design tricks, such as overprinting, influenced the next generation of designers worldwide. Schuitema is well represented in Dutch museums, in particular the Stedelijk Museum and Kunstmuseum Den Haag, this poster was missing in Dutch collections. Only the Museum of Modern Art in New York has a copy of EXHIBITION 13 in the collection.


With this latest acquisition, one of the largest and oldest collection of posters from is once again enriched with an important donation. The Rotterdam city archives has more than fifty thousand posters and placards. Archivist Willem Unger started building this collection already in 1895.

Among the highlights are the many modernist posters for Van Nelle by Jac. Jongert, SDAP election posters by Albert Hahn and the famous poster for the Batavier Line from 1916 by Bart van der Leck as well as several iconic posters for the Holland America Line by various international designers. The recent acquisition is a valuable addition to the collection, both in terms of the city's history and graphic design and was made possible by the Droom en Daad Foundation.

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