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Originals from May 1968 for sale at auction

On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the most influential revolutionary essay of 1968, Balclis is holding an online auction and an exhibition of 50 original posters from May 1968 belonging to that movement, as well as film posters and 20th Century advertising classics.

Originals from May 1968

This selection of protest posters contains a simple but effective graphic design, reflecting the concerns in the streets at that time. They were conceived and printed in the “Atelier populaire” of the École des Beaux-arts in Paris, which was occupied by the students on May 15, 1968. The atelier —a group of “active strike” supporters— was a spontaneous movement not linked to any political party.

During the revolts, more than 600 posters were created —the first print runs were lithographs, which were soon replaced by serigraphs, which allowed more prints to be made— with designs subject to debate and voting. None of them was signed, in the name of teamwork, and they included at most the stamp of the “Atelier populaire”. Most of those posters were glued at the walls in the streets of Paris, and today only a few are preserved.

The short history of the “Atelier populaire” ended at the end of June 1968, when the police expelled its occupants. Fortunately, the posters that remained there were saved by the artists Gérard Fromanger and Merri Jolivet, following a warning of an art-loving policeman, according to legend.

Aware of their artistic and historical value, the students donated a complete set of posters to the Musée des Arts et Traditions Populaires. Others are kept in the Bibliothèque Nationale in France or in the Musées royaux des beaux-arts in Belgium. Now, Balclis amazes once again with a unique collection of an essential witness of the events that took place in L’Île-de-France in 1968.