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Object Timeline

1964

  • Work on this object began.

1970

2009

  • We acquired this object.

2014

2019

  • You found it!

Poster, Teatr Wielki, Charles Gounod Foust [Charles Gounod's Faust], 1964

This is a Poster. It is dated 1964 and we acquired it in 2009. Its medium is offset lithograph on paper. It is a part of the Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design department.

Charles Gounod’s “Faust” was one of the most popular French operas of the 19th century, together with “Carmen” by Georges Bizet. Inspired both by legend and the play by Wolfgang von Goethe, Gounod popularized the characters of Faust and that of the evil spirit Mephistopheles. Polish designer Jan Lenica, best known for his animation films, chose here to represent the latter in this poster. Through a series of undulating blue and purple shapes and curves, Lenica mimics the smoky emanation of Mephistopheles, emerging as it were from his hellish abode. The tongue is represented by a flower-like form spurting from the mouth, while the intertwining stripes and volutes outline the silhouette of the infamous evil spirit. The name of the opera and the location appear in an appropriately smoky typography in the bottom right hand corner of the image, reminiscent of art nouveau.

This object was donated by Marc Benda. It is credited Gift of Sara and Marc Benda.

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Its dimensions are

97 x 67.4 cm (38 3/16 x 26 9/16 in.)

Cite this object as

Poster, Teatr Wielki, Charles Gounod Foust [Charles Gounod's Faust], 1964; offset lithograph on paper; 97 x 67.4 cm (38 3/16 x 26 9/16 in.); Gift of Sara and Marc Benda; 2009-20-30

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Making Design.

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18731827/ |title=Poster, Teatr Wielki, Charles Gounod Foust [Charles Gounod's Faust], 1964 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=18 October 2019 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>