Boston Museum of Fine Arts exhibit examines the postcard as art this fall

BOSTON – The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), will debut “The Postcard Age: Selections from the Leonard A. Lauder Collection,” Oct. 24, 2012 as the first general exploration of the postcard as an artistic medium at a major museum.

Postcard mania vintage postcard

The postcard-mania, published by G. F. & C. van Dock about 1905.
Leonard A. Lauder Postcard Archive – Promised gift of Leonard A. Lauder.

The exhibition will feature 450 postcards from Europe and the United States, drawn from the Leonard A. Lauder Postcard Archive, one of the world’s finest and most comprehensive collections of postcards, and a promised gift to the MFA.

In the decades around 1900, a postcard craze swept the world, and billions of cards were bought, mailed and pasted into albums.

Acclaimed artists turned to the new medium, but one of the great pleasures of postcards is how some of the most beautiful and interesting cards were made by artists whose names we barely know.

The MFA will showcase these works, tracing how historical and cultural themes of the modern age – enthralling, exciting and sometimes disturbing – played out on the postcard’s tiny canvas.

“The Postcard Age: Selections from the Leonard A. Lauder Collection” will be on view at the MFA Oct. 24, 2012, through April 14, 2013.

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Here are just a few selections from the Leonard A. Lauder Collection: