AMPAS has received a donation of more than 1,000 original B movie posters from the first half of the 20th century.
Chicago real estate developer and noted collector Dwight Cleveland made the donation, which includes a variety of genres such as westerns, war films, musicals, biblical tales and social-issue cinema.
“B-movies tap into the public consciousness and provide rich fodder for better understanding the times,” said Linda Mehr, director of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences’ Margaret Herrick Library, which will house the collection.
“Dwight’s collection was a dream to receive,” added Herrick graphic arts librarian Anne Coco. “Not only was it very well organized, but the posters also were in excellent shape. Our staff is fairly certain he was a librarian in another lifetime.”
Posters in the Herrick Library collections are stored in climate-controlled vaults in Beverly Hills, where they can be accessed by filmmakers, historians, journalists, students and the general public. They are frequently shown at the Academy’s own exhibitions and loaned to cultural institutions worldwide, and conceivably will be a featured component of the proposed Academy Museum of Motion Pictures.
“I really think that film posters are one of the very few truly indigenous art forms of our country,” said Cleveland, a collector since high school. “By making these gifts, I hope to excite an appreciation for the works themselves among members of the general public and also set a good example for other collectors.”