The Origin

In the early 1980ís, while attending a business meeting in San Francisco, Martin Rosenberg came across a small group of vintage Polish film, theater and circus posters in a rarely accessed art storage file of a poster gallery. He recognized that the images didnít conform to any design styles in Europe he was familiar with. The language was Polish and the posters were produced in the 1960ís and 1970ís. A few phone calls made on the following morning confirmed their Polish provenance. More exciting, however, was the feedback from a Chicago based art director of an international advertising firm that these were images appearing in their Graphis Annual publications and the innovative concepts in these award-winning posters were heavily borrowed over many decades by other graphic designers.

Martin acquired the entire lot of posters, feeling strongly that here was a genre of fine art poster design relatively unknown in the Americas. Research validated that there were no major collections, and only modest examples in institutions such as Chicagoís Polish Museum of America, The Museum of Modern Art in New York and The Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.

When the sources for more information seemed exhausted in the U.S., Martin began extensive travel to Poland. Over the next nearly three decades, he developed relationships with artists, professors, museums, collectors and graphic designers from whom he could build a deep knowledge of the history of Polish posters and the historical context in which they were created.

Until the Solidarity movement removed the Communist regime from power and international shipping became reliable, Martin hand carried all the posters acquired in Europe back to the U.S. The first public exhibition he produced was for the Polish Museum of America in 1990---it was the largest showing of vintage Polish posters ever presented outside of Warsaw. Martin went on to produce many exhibitions, author articles, co-produce books, lecture and serve as executive producer and art consultant for the documentary film on the Polish poster, Freedom On The Fence.