This poster was recently restored
and reframed and now hangs in
the Waiting Room on the first
floor.  The poster is a remnant of
the collection that once decorated
Professional Children's School's
prior home from 1927 to 1956.

 

 

PCS 100: Art Nouveau Masterworks

Sarah Bernhardt

 

Art Nouveau Masterworks Decorate PCS
Countless generations of PCS students hurried past two posters in the east stairwell.  In fact, the posters are among the very last vestiges of 1860 Broadway -- PCS's home from 1927 to 1956 -- and they were brought from there when PCS moved to its present location in 1956.  Both posters are original lithographs by the great art nouveau  artist Alphonse Mucha.

The poster on the 5th floor landing (right) depicts Mucha's most famous client, Sarah Bernhardt.  Printed in America, the poster announces her 1896 American tour.   According to the Mucha Foundation, the poster was originally designed for Bernhardt's 1894 premier of Gismonda.   Bernhardt liked the poster so much that she used it again for her American tour.

The second poster used to hang on the 2nd floor landing.  It was recently restored and now hangs in the waiting room on the first floor.  It depicts the American actress Leslie Carter (photo right) and was printed in America in 1908.  The poster announces her new play, Kassa,  which, again according to the Mucha Foundation, was a flop that bankrupted Miss Carter and for which Mucha was never paid.



The two posters are almost all that's left of the collection that once decorated the hallways of 1860 Broadway.   They are mentioned in press visits to the school and sometimes appear in the backgrounds of school photos (at left) and must have seemed ancient even back in the 1920's and '30's, depicting, as they did,  great ladies of the turn of the century stage like  Maude Adams,  Mrs. Patrick Campbell and Eleanora Duse.  -- John Tucker

 


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