Rene Wanner's Poster Page

News: "Miscellaneous Man" now has a web site
received August 10, 2004, from George Theofiles

Catalogue cover

a page spread from the catalogue

George Theofiles is a living legend among poster dealers. I heard first about him when Karl Wobmann, the former curator of the poster collection of the Kunstgewerbe-Museum in Zuerich, Switzerland, showed me an interesting small size catalogue from Theofiles, about 20 years ago. It listed hundreds of vintage posters, all illustrated with a picture in a format which is today called a "thumbnail", it was a gold mine of information. The newest issue, number 67, shows 1390 new arrivals in his stock.

The company had a strange name Miscellaneous Man, and an even stranger address New Freedom, and when I was at the Library of Congress in Washington DC in 1991 to see their poster books, I decided to visit him. I remember a huge barn out in the green fields of Pennsylvania, a very friendly welcome, and one of the largest poster libraries I have ever seen. It was also the first time for me to see vintage posters from the turn of the century at close range, and I was surprised how fresh they looked.

George has been a generous supporter of the Poster Bibliography and the Poster Page, and I wish him well on the start of his web site, but hope he will continue to publish his precious little catalogues for a while. They are part of poster history, and a tangible testimony for a passion that drives many of us.

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