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This collection is a remarkable look into the twentieth-century history of China. The posters serve as a valuable historical document and provide an idealized account of a key period in global history. As Winston S. Churchill famously said, “The Empire of the future will be the empire of the mind.” In the days before CNN and Fox News, a still image truly was worth a thousand words, and these posters were how Mao and his group informed and restored the collective mind of the Chinese people. It is a heroic saga of countless victories over momentous struggle. Still behind the happy faces beaming out of these posters, one can

also guess at the true-life anxieties and hardships of the people these posters purported to represent. Indeed, each poster is both a work of art and an insight into the events of those times.

The Chinese propaganda posters are most rich in contents and styles. The early posters had a surreal cartoonist style to them reminiscent of European early forays into the new medium of large-scale industrial print propaganda. As the Korean war drew to a close, you can see the entrance of more Socialist-realism influences with the idealized and heroic worker in their utopian communities. An interesting side note was the influence of the 1930s Shanghai calendar girl posters on some of these 1950s posters. Big Leap Forward and cold war posters of later 1950s and early 1960s saw quite a few interesting creation of folk art painting. The change to the red-art style of the cultural revolution and the violent and militaristic themes is a sudden shift that gives the readers some impression of the mood of the time. Those red and black woodcut style posters made by the art school student rebellion groups are powerful.

Posters are designed not only to meet the demand of the government but also to be welcomed by the masses. In striving to achieve these works, many artists reached deep inside themselves, and in so doing were able to produce extraordinary poster designs which perfectly captured the indomitable nature of the human spirit, the transformational power of unbridled industriousness, and the soaring spirit of the people’s optimism. Even considered purely as works of art, a large number of the posters are quite unique, and will glitter forever in the history of Chinese art.

Today China’s economic path to prosperity is well defined. But with the shift toward a more modern and forward-thinking China, it would be a mistake to forget our recent history. In the memory of that important historical era, our art center is very proud to be the only place in China to offer all of these posters together as most of the posters were destroyed due to different political changes in the past years. With over 5000 pieces produced between 1949 and 1979, ours is the top collection in the word. It is part of our culture heritage as well as a part of the family of art treasures. May it will help kindle the fire of imagination for the generations to follow.

   上海宣传画艺术中心是由杨培明先生创办的私人博物馆, 出于对宣传艺术的热爱,出于对这段不寻常的历史的关心,馆内收藏着成干上万张从1949年中华人民共和国成立以来的反映中国人民集体精神的震撼人心的宣传画。

  这部宣传画收藏的展示是观察新中国成立后卅年历史的一个极佳视角,也是世界史上理想主义时期的重要文献资料。就象著名的邱吉尔所说的那样:”人类的未来帝国最终是心灵帝国。” 在CNN和 FOX NEWS出现之前,确实是百闻不如一见,这里的宣传画告诉你毛泽东和他的一班人是如何发动和组织曾经是一盘散砂的中国人民,这是一个了不起的不断战胜重重困难的时代。仍然,画中一张张笑脸的背后渗透着生话的艰难和对美好的喝往。的确,每张宣传画不仅是件艺术品,同时也是当时历史的缩影。




2013 Catalogue:This new Catalogue of 2013 is ready in the museum for sale, readers can also order by emaill: pmyang@sh163.net or pmyang999@163.com
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