A Trip to Chinatown
Medium: Commercial lithograph
Dimensions: composition: 8 5/16 × 6 3/8 in. (21.1 × 16.2 cm)
sheet: 12 1/4 × 8 11/16 in. (31.1 × 22.1 cm)
Illustration Citation: Advertising poster for A Trip to China Town
Les Maitres de l'Affiche, pl. 184, 1899
Les Affiches Étrangères, pl. 184
Credit Line: Gift of Helen Farr Sloan, 1986
About: The Beggarstaffs were brothers-in-law James Pryde and William Nicholson. They opened a London advertising design studio in 1894. They were known for their new technique, collage, using cut pieces of paper to create their designs. Their originality - they ignored the prevailing trend of Art Nouveau - did not meet with financial success, and they dissolved their partnership after three years.
The Beggarstaffs' original design for this poster was altered by the printer, Dangerfield, who decided to add a background color and pseudo-Chinese typography. These changes infuriated the Beggarstaffs and explains why the poster went unsigned, as they refused to put their name on a work they no longer regarded as their own. Still, the poster achieved world-wide acclaim, and, even in its own day, was considered extremely rare and expensive.
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