Unique Shanghai museum features graphic posters from 20th Century

Global Business

The Shanghai Poster Art Center, a private museum, features 400 examples of graphic art dating from the early 1900s-1990s, and is growing in popularity. CCTV America’s Cai Jue reported this story from Shanghai.

The center, located in the basement of an unmarked residential building just off Huashan Road, was recently selected as one of the most popular museums in China.

Unique Shanghai museum features graphic posters from 20th Century

The Shanghai Poster Art Center, a private museum, features 400 examples of graphic art dating from the early 1900s-1990s, and is growing in popularity. CCTV America's Cai Jue reported this story from Shanghai.

The collection includes valuable cigarette advertising posters from the 1930s with drawings of classic Shanghai ladies. The museum also has several thousand posters from the early days of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. Many of these posters were saved from recycling centers or garbage dumps.

Owner Yang Peiming started collecting works in 1995 and now has more than 6,000 posters. He opened the art center opened in 2002, and it now occupies three large showrooms.

“They want to see something they have never seen. They cannot see these things in big museums as well as in big museums in the west, but you can see these things here. So people like to come here and I am very proud,” Yang said.

Yang said he had no idea how much he has spent on the posters. The most expensive an original poster that reads: “Closely Follow Our Great Leader Chairman Mao Marching Forward.” It dates back to 1968, and Yang paid 200,000 RMB, or about $32,000, for it.

The museum charges a 20 RMB, or $3.21 entrance fee, and also runs a gift shop to help cover the rent. In June, Yang was invited to the University of Edinburgh to host an exhibition on the poster art of modern China. During the one-month exhibition, 130 posters were on display, attracting more than 5,000 visitors.

“This is not only about poster art. People can also have a better understanding about the history of China as well as political development. It’s really helpful not only for the elderly to recall an earlier time but also for the young people to learn about history and pictures,” Yang said.