Saint Louis University Libraries Special Collections will present "(Please Don't) Steal This Poster," an exhibition of letterpress prints by the Firecracker Press for the Billiken Club. The exhibition will open with a premiere at 4 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 12, in the second floor gallery of Pius XII Memorial Library, and run until Tuesday, Dec. 31.
The premiere event will include a printing demonstration by the Firecracker Press and live music by Manual Feed.
The Billiken Club posters represent the convergence of two different artistic spheres — the visual and the musical — at a time when St. Louis was home to energetic and creative members of both. Produced by the Firecracker Press as color woodcuts, the posters are also both art prints and advertising; they are graphically striking while at the same time powerfully evocative of the bands they advertised.
From the outset, the intent of the Billiken Club posters was to provide an artifact of the experience as much as to advertise. The Billiken Club Posters frequently garnered critical acclaim, as well as popular attention. The 2010-2011 series of prints won an American Institute of Graphic Arts Award of Merit in 2010, and The Riverfront Times named the Times New Viking poster their "Best Concert Poster of 2011."
The Billiken Club posters were highly prized by enthusiasts of printmaking, local music and Saint Louis University. A Billiken Club poster created by The Firecracker Press could usually be expected to remain in place one to two weeks before being stolen.
For more information about the exhibition, call 314-977-3109 or visit the Special Collections website.