The International Poster Center presents ‘Rare Posters Auction’ on September 8, 2011

The International Poster Center announced last week that it will be featuring ten vintage Egyptian film posters during its latest auction in New York City on September 8.

This will represent the first time Middle Eastern film posters have been auctioned in the USA, a sign of the growing worldwide interest in all Middle Eastern art forms.

Doors are currently open to the center’s pre-auction exhibition, where the posters will be showcased alongside other rarities over the next two weeks. The 26-year old institution continues to attract the world’s most sophisticated collectors, writers, and enthusiasts who come together to celebrate and acquire visual treasures from the past.

These vintage Egyptian film posters, which range in dates from the 1950s through the 1980s, are incredibly rare pieces of art which evoke nostalgia in people through their romantic, vibrant, provocative and at times controversial illustrations of the most iconic Arab actors, actresses, authors, politicians, singers, and musicians.

In the latest release by the International Poster Center, which is one of the world’s leading poster auction houses, founder Jack Rennert introduces the pieces by saying:

“The 1950s through the 1960s are generally considered to be the Golden Age of Egyptian Cinema, with typecast heroes and heroines flitting through melodrama toward their happy endings. In 1966, however, the film industry became nationalized, forcing directors to create a balance between entertainment and politics in the films they created. The freedom shown to women in these posters was fairly reflective of the culture at that time, a culture which has experienced a conservative backlash since the times of these films. Here we present a handful of the best posters for the most influential or important movies of that era.”

The value of these artistic gems is poised to increase in value; this is the first real exposure such work from the region has been given. They are not only beautiful works of art, but are also historical documents, as they allude to more open and liberal times in the Middle East. 

If you are in New York over the next two weeks, make sure you visit the exhibition and/or attend this auction. I will definitely be there!

Here are the details:

 Auction Date: September 8, 2011 at 2 pm
Viewing: August 26- September 7, 2011, Mon-Fri: 9-5, Sat-Sun: 11-6
Address: The International Poster Center
601 West 26th street 
New York, NY
Tel: (212) 787-4000

Some of the vintage Egyptian film posters on auction:

Watch Out for Zouzou (1972):

27 1/2 x 39 1/4 inches- 70 x 99.5 cm

Description: Considered to be one of the most influential Arab films of all time, this movie stars both Soaud Hosny and Hussein Fahmy, this being the former’s most notable role. The plot revolves around Zeinab, also known as Zouzou, a young woman in school who is forced to provide for herself and her aging mother by moonlighting as a belly dancer. Smart, outspoken, and beautiful, she quickly becomes known as the ‘ideal student’ on campus, angering the religious right in the community with her short skirts and liberal ways. The conflict reaches its full height when images of her belly dancing began to circulate, ending with her giving a fiery speech about how it is no sin to dance. The film is known for its smart balance between politics and pop culture (from the International Poster Center’s Sept. 8 auction catalogue).

A Woman’s Affairs (1960):

27 1/2 X 39 1/4 inches- 70 x 99.5 cm

Description: Born in Cairo, Soad Hosny, who stars in this film, was known as the ‘Cinderella of Egyptian Cinema.’ Despite unprecedented fame, her love life was turbulent at best, and she fell to her death in 2001 (from the International Poster Center’s Sept. 8 auction catalogue). 

Woman with a Bad Reputation (1972):

27 1/2 X 39 1/4 inches- 70 x 99.5 cm

Description: A controversial and titillating film staring Shams Al Baroudi as a housewife forced to have an affair with her husband’s boss in order for him to get a promotion. The plan backfires when she runs into her first love, resulting in one of the country’s best-loved romantic classics (from the International Poster Center’s Sept. 8 auction catalogue). 

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