Wednesday, March 24, 2021

The dreams that you dare to dream ...

I am ecstatic to announce that I am the happy new owner of an original poster for The Wizard of Oz extravaganza -- and it is from the original 1903 run at the Majestic Theatre in New York!

Posters from the show are exceedingly rare, and most are known by a single example, and few are in private hands.

Another example of this poster is held by the New York Public Library, though mine (above) is in better condition.

The poster measures 19" x 30" and is lithographed in two colors: a warm yellow and a deep navy blue. It was printed by the Gillin - Print Co. of New York and Philadelphia.

Lithographer's Imprint

I strongly suspect this poster was printed for the post-Chicago but pre-Broadway run of the show, since the red "Majestic Theatre" designation at the top is not part of the original lithographic process, but added in a blank space for each theatre to list its own name. Hamlin and Mitchell had an array of new and full-color lithographed posters printed for the Broadway run by the Russell-Morgan Company.

That might make this the earliest known poster for the show to survive. [Note: there is an early Chicago-era poster of "The Poppy Girl," but it was almost certainly not produced for use as advertising the show, but as a saucy pin-up.]

The imagery for this poster is taken from one of the most iconic photographs of Montgomery and Stone used for the original Chicago publicity blitz. The photo was taken by the Windeatt Studio in Chicago in 1902.

I have long dreamed of owning an original poster for this show, which has become such a large part of my life. I am very thankful to the wonderful and generous seller who wanted to make sure it ended up in the right collection.

Copyright © 2021 David Maxine. All rights reserved.

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