This weekend 20 dealers from the International Vintage Print Dealer Association (IVPDA) convene in New York City for their annual bi-coastal fair (the fair travels to San Francisco for Halloween weekend). Open to the public, the fair is an excellent opportunity to learn about vintage posters by meeting international dealers and seeing their inventories first hand.
As a design dealer, I am a big advocate of vintage posters as an affordable, unique and personal alternative to buying contemporary art. If you are decorating a space or starting holiday shopping early, bring your wallet. Good vintage posters range in price from around $200 to $2,000 with many priced below $750. Unlike contemporary art, which can be highly speculative, quality vintage posters will retain their value assuming the subject and aesthetics aren't too esoteric. French posters from the first half of the 20th century, (often reproduced, slightly cliche) are typically the most expensive.
That being said there is a huge spectrum of posters on the market. New York's Chisholm Larsson Gallery has an astonishing selection of classic movie posters from Eastern Europe. If you have any hobbies, are dedicated to a particular sport, or are missing some European city where you did study abroad, you will find a complimentary poster. (Personally I am a big fan of retro Olympic posters from Montreal 1976 and Yugoslavia 1984. Andy Warhol + Speed Skating = Awesome).
From experience, budget $150-500 for proper framing. The larger the poster, the more expensive the frame will be. The reason why cheap frames are called as such is that they look cheap. If you buy a poster (or piece of artwork) that you are passionate about consider that the piece is going to be "wearing" the frame for years to come.
Galerie un deux trois from Geneva, Switzerland highlighted four of the top posters they are showing in the US.
Visit International Vintage Poster Fair for more information on the upcoming New York City and San Francisco shows!
Images: Galerie un deux trois