Luxury products: historical posters in the APG|SGA eMuseum

Feb. 9, 2021

A virtual exhibition in the APG|SGA eMuseum allows visitors to experience the charm of historic posters from the last century. The exhibition illustrates how products were highlighted and promoted in posters. It prompts us to ponder the term “luxury” in general, but also its varied interpretations in different eras and cultural spaces. In an interview, Nico Lazúla Baur, archivist of the Museum für Gestaltung’s poster collection (photo, talks about how the concept of luxury products has developed.

Some of the posters in the exhibition are particularly pioneering: “The posters by Maja Allenbach deserve special attention. Unfortunately, she is largely unknown today, but she was an early pioneer of the photo poster in Switzerland. In bringing together photography and typography, Allenbach ushered in a new aesthetic in consumer posters. Her avant-garde design sensibility is very much evident in her advertising posters for Astra fat and Stalden cream,” explains Nico Lazúla Baur.

Further information
“Luxury Products” virtual poster exhibition 
Part of the Museum für Gestaltung Zürich’s poster collection is available to view in its online catalogue.
Posters from the collection can also be ordered as reproductions for private use. 

Panorama of poster art 
The poster collection at the Museum für Gestaltung Zürich is one of the most important archives of its kind in the world. It contains around 350,000 objects, with about 120,000 digitally catalogued, all documenting the national and international history of the poster from its origins to the present day. From this pool, the APG|SGA eMuseum draws exhibits for its occasional virtual exhibitions, which have provided financial and cultural support for the museum for years now. The diversity of historical, thematic and geographic subjects results in both a panorama of poster art and a glimpse into a visual archive of day-to-day life. 

Image captions
1 Archivist Nico Lazúla Baur at work in the poster collection archive
2 The card catalogue used before the launch of the digital database 
3 Original design by Maja Allenbach, “Astra hilft sparen” (Astra helps you save)