Monday, July 14, 2014

Web Exhibit: “The Art of American Advertising, 1865-1910”

Poster, Prang and Mayer, Lithographer, Boston, c. 1856-60; Advertising Ephemera Collection, Baker Library

New this year from Historical Collections at Baker Library, Harvard Business School, is "The Art of American Advertising, 1865-1910." According to the exhibit's home page,

Capitalizing on the growing industries of advertising and printing, companies with products to sell reached wholesalers, retailers, and home consumers through media of all shapes, sizes, colors, and imagery—from trade catalogs and trade cards to broadsides and posters to souvenir publications and novelty items. The emerging advertising profession after the Civil War represents a marketing revolution in which technology, creativity, and art were marshaled together to serve commercial ends. Drawing from Baker Library’s Historical Collections, The Art of American Advertising, 1865-1910 explores the role these burgeoning and extraordinarily inventive forms of advertising played in marketing mass-produced products to the evolving American consumer culture.
In addition to divisions by type of advertising, the exhibit contains several topical sections, including "National Markets," "Brand Name Management," and "A Marketing Revolution."
    Within the Advertising Ephemera Collection, Baker Library holds more than 8,000 trade cards, over 1,100 of which have been digitized; they can be accessed on-line through Harvard's Visual Information Access (VIA) system. A full discussion of Baker's holdings in this area can be found on the exhibit's "Research Links" page.