Ephemera: From the Greek ephemeros, meaning “lasting only one day, short-lived.”
Many things once considered ephemeral are now highly valued and sought-after objects. DC and Marvel Comic Books. Music magazines and papers. Toys. Wrapping papers for sweets and candies. Anything intended for a quick turn-around in pleasure now has a price tag higher than its original RRP.
Karoly Grosz (1896-1938) was arguably the greatest illustrator of Golden Age Hollywood movie posters. Grosz’s work (if you can find it) sells for hundreds of thousands today. It’s not just because his work is rare or he designed posters for the some of the greatest horror films ever made. Nay, nay, and thrice nay! It’s because his designs are works of art.
Grosz created movie posters which offered a feeling about a movie without giving anything away. A sense of fear. A sense of thrills. Of joy. Of forbidden delights. Unlike those later artists who followed him–Reynold Brown, Albert Kallis, and Frank McCarthy–Grosz never gave any spoilers in the work he produced.
Karoly Grosz was born somewhere, sometime in Hungary circa 1896. Hee-haw is known about his early years. He doesn’t have any known biography until he turns up in America in 1921. By then he’s an artist. A very good one. He is hired by a movie company to produce advertising material, posters, throwaway stuff, ephemera to bring in customers. He impresses the people who count. He’s hired by Universal Pictures in 1930. For the next eight years, until his early death, Grosz produces classic posters for films like Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy, The Old Dark House, Murders in the Rue Morgue, and The Invisible Man. He created or oversaw hundreds of posters while at Universal. He also gave ideas to producers and movie directors. For example, suggesting to director James Whale Frankenstein‘s Monster should have bolts in his neck and a flat head.
Grosz was the man who turned ephemeral movie posters into collectible works of art.
A great range of movie poster prints in the Shop – HERE.
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