i desire vintage posters: q&a
Dec 14, 2012
Based in Toronto, Canada, Valerie and Jim Clark are dealers of original vintage posters and vintage graphics, and are the dynamic duo behind I Desire Vintage Posters. Since 1989, this husband and wife team has been selling vintage posters to people all over the world. From old advertising graphics to art deco rarities, it’s obvious that Valerie and Jim are experts in their field. And after nearly 5 months in the making, we are thrilled to share their collection of finds with you! To read the rest of the interview, head on over to fossil.com, and when you’re done, check out their amazing collection of vintage posters!
Q. What made you decide to start your own business?
A. We knew we had to be in the thick of these matters, and particularly in the 1980’s, vintage graphics were the right choice for entrepreneurs with a limited budget. It also helped that there was no competition in Toronto (or Canada).
Q. What surprises you most about being a vintage dealer?
A. We’re continually surprised and delighted by the way vintage designs ignite the whole gamut of modern reflections, putting into play folks from all over the world looking for something special.
Q. Do you have a favorite piece in your personal collection? What is it, and tell us a little bit about it.
A. For Valerie, it’s a 1925 Sevilla fiesta poster. The chic young woman at the center is brilliantly positioned amidst an antiquated cityscape and a breathtaking night sky. It is very rare.
For Jim, it’s Bernard Villemot’s Bally Lotus from 1973 (we call it the Bally Valentines in view of its sexy configuration). It spans classic, golden age (Matisse-like) design and contemporary sensibility. We’ve recently had the great pleasure of contributing to a new book on Villemot which will be out any day now. The collector and publisher, George Bon Salle , recently updated us concerning a current museum show featuring Villemot’s extensive and brilliant work in Paris at the Bibliothèque Forney.
Q. How do you look for vintage finds?
A. We’ve done a lot of traveling to Europe and we’ve slowly built up a network of those who haunt estate sales there. These days, because we are so visible on the internet, many people from all over the world approach us with graphics they want to sell.
Q. What’s the best vintage find you’ve ever scored?
A. One day a scruffy guy came to us with a distressed, mucky-framed of the great Frank McIntosh San Francisco-Hawaii Overnight Pan Am Clipper and its happy passengers debarking at the Pan Am-operated seashore hotel in Honolulu. He was a marine engineer living in his boat and he apparently had it hanging up in that far-from-climate-controlled setting for years and years. He’d gotten tired of it.
Q. What’s your advice for someone starting to collect vintage?
A. I think that in order to derive the most value from your purchase you have to concentrate on what is meaningful to you. If your interest is fashion, sports or a travel destination, you should explore instances in that area. The work should carry your attention to especially satisfactory, perhaps new, dimensions of the field you love.
After you have arrived at that orientation, it’s important to find a reputable graphics dealer who knows what it’s about. Dealers connected with the International Vintage Poster Dealers Association are a good bet. They can further develop your knowledge and understanding of poster history, methods of printing production, etc., and why collecting vintage posters can be an exciting way to go!