“De la caricature à l’affiche” – “From cartoon to Posterˮ
Exposition running from February 18th to September 4th, 2016
Museum of Decorative Arts
107 rue de Rivoli, 75007 Paris
Open Tuesday to Sunday, 11am-6pm
Illustration: Henri-Gustave Jossot, Album, Mince de trognes, 1896, P. Ollendorff library.
Most will agree our world is in a global state of turmoil, with routine issues reported in our media linked to terrorism and cultural conflict. In France, the Charlie Hebdo terror attack, which was triggered by the publication of cartoons in the same paper, showed how elements of our culture can be simple, important, and yet controversial. This exposition proves itself very relevant and actual.
Indeed, in France, and in the rest of the Western world, the importance of freedom of expression seems to be more central than ever. The current exposition being held at the Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris invites us to rediscover the history of what most consider a great social achievement of the French Revolution: the development and taking root of a satirical press in France. This is a good time to remember from where some of the values of the old continent come.
The theme we are invited to discover here is the importance of caricatures and satirical images in the evolution of the press in France roughly between 1850 and 1918. One can measure the importance of such practices through a review of a variety of bills and posters. From the 1850’s on, France had a torrent of satirical press publications making fun of most contemporary issues. Hence we are plunged into the background of those times. Here are more than 70 years of satire, caricatures and other publications, related to events, novelties and scandals of that period. An exposition for History and European culture lovers!