Between Midnight and Dawn, Midcentury Noir and Crime Film Posters
August 30, 2014 - October 3, 2014
The movie posters included in this exhibition (from the personal collections of Mark Fertig and Eddie Muller) are all theater-used originals from the 1940s and 1950s. They have been deacidified, archivally mounted to acid-free Japanese paper and cotton canvas, and touched up with water-reversible pigments in order to restore them to their original appearance and preserve them for the future. They offer insight not only into Hollywood movie marketing techniques, but also into the gun-waving, cigarette-smoking, fedora-wearing, loot-grabbing, back-stabbing, car-crashing, legs-showing, bare-knuckled glorious iconography of the film noir style. These “one-sheets” offer up a bank vault’s worth of midcentury art and design, featuring stunning illustration, photography, and typography, all too often created in anonymity by studio-employed artists who were unfortunately not permitted to sign their work.
Eddie Muller is a novelist, filmmaker, historian and Turner Classic Movies host. Widely celebrated as the “Czar of Noir,” Muller is the author of three seminal books on the subject and has provided commentaries on countless film noir DVDs. As founder and president of the Film Noir Foundation, he organizes annual “Noir City” film festivals in cities across the country, and works tirelessly to rescue and preserve America’s noir heritage. Muller gave an interesting, informative gallery talk at the opening reception.
Mark Fertig, exhibition curator, is chair of the department of art at Susquehanna University and associate professor of graphic design.