Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Seduced at The fan Museum

is the exhibition currently showing at
The Fan Museum, Greenwich.

These fans date from 'La Belle Epoque',
'The Beautiful Era'.
'Dating from the late Victorian to the Edwardian era' (in England).
which doesn't have quite the same ring to it.

We'll stick with, 'La Belle Epoque',
when advertising fans came into their own
with the "birth of modern consumer culture".

Fans became bill-boards for advertising.

Some were a bit like the classifieds in the back pages of the newspapers.

Others produced by commercial artists,
designed to make the most of the shape of the fan.

There are fans created for luxury brands.

Champagne anyone?

Fans serving as theatre programmes.

This fan was designed by Francisque Poulbot,
who lived and sketched life in Monmartre, Paris.

Some adverts are not so subtle.

This is the kind of fan I would have loved playing with as a kid.
There's something magical about opening that 'fanning out' tissue-paper thing.

It wouldn't have lasted very long in my hands.
But I don't suppose any of these fans were designed in perpetuity.

But they have been kept, in perfect condition, some for 100 years
to be admired by the ad-weary public of the 21st century.
To remind us of times gone by.

Their power is not so much now in the advertising,
but in their beauty,
and the sense of nostalgia.

"Now, I just fancy a glass of champagne!"

Seduced? At the Fan Museum?

Seduced! Fans and the Art of Advertising
is on at The fan Museum in Greenwich
until 28th Sept 2014.
Details on their website.


  1. Thank you for such a wonderful virtual tour. Those fans are fabulous.

    1. Thanks Gina. Funny I'd never thought of blog posts as giving virtual tours. But the more I think about it, it's really what the blog is all about, with the aim of getting people to visit for real.


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