The graphic collection of the Town of Chaumont was built up in two phases : firstly in 1906 with the Gustave Dutailly bequest and then as of 1990 with the launch of the International Poster Festival ( and competition).
This collection, composed of a collection of vintage and contemporary posters as well as ephemera and installations, continues to grow thanks to the international poster competition and to divers donations,such as Roman Cieslewicz’s (1930-1996) book collection.
This website will progressively showcase the collection.
The access to the comprehensive catalogue is possible for researchers, under conditions, in Chaumont.
Gustave Dutaillly (1846-1906) was professor for botanics at the University of Lyon and an active politician in the 3rd Republic.
Not less than 5000 posters were kept, folded, mounted, bound before becoming the municipal collections grouped into 21 in-folio albums. The specificity of this collection lies in five features:
- Hyper-representativity of the work of Jules Chéret
- The diversity of the themes covered ( from entertainment to bookstores, from means of transport to manufactured products)
- Its international dimension ( including British and North-American posters)
- The quantity of originals ( preparatory drawings, sketches, unused models) that make it possible to investigate the state-of-the-art in printing and drawing between 1895 and 1905
The quality of the conservation of the items that were detached from the albums after 1982 so as to recover their original appearance
The restoration and inventory of the Dutailly bequest in the early 1980’s led the Town of Chaumont to initiate a cultural project meant to valorise and also enrich the collection.
The project of the Festival de l’affiche was implemented in 1990. The “Premières Rencontres internationals d’Arts graphiques” were inaugurated under the patronage of Alain Weill, former curator of the Musée de l’Affiche ( Paris), become General Delegate of the festival. Designers from thirty-two countries took part in the International Poster competition in that year. The rules stated that the entries are assigned to the Town who in turn is in charge of the conservation in the Silos, maison de l’Affiche, which opened in 1994.
The action of the festival was taken over all year around by a Pôle Graphisme that organized exhibitions within their premises and outside, hosted graphic designer residences, proposed educational activities and took care of the collection. The collection which now includes 45 000 contemporary posters sent in over the different editions.
In the continuity of all these actions led during the festivals and the will to provide the graphic design field with a permanent structure, le Signe, centre national du graphisme came to be in April 2017 in Chaumont and is now in charge of the management of the collection.