E. M. Lilien designed this ca. 1899 poster for Ulstein & Mosse Publishers, a private Jewish firm that published (at the time of this poster) the prestigious Berlin paper Berliner Tageblatt, and also ULK, Zeitgeist, Technische Rundschau, and Deutsche Lesehalle. The two ‘Jugendstil’ women leaning against the Berlin city symbol of the bear are advertising that the reader of these publications will glean information about agriculture, horticulture, and home economics. But Ulstein & Mosse Publishers might just have been underwriting a project by a respected artist from the German Jugendstil school to enhance their corporate image. Whatever the reason, Lilien produced a truly magnificent poster. The Jewish Museum in New York exhibited another slightly different copy in a 1999 show entitled, Berlin Metropolis: Jews and the New Culture, 1890-1918.
Ephraim Moses Lilien (1874-1925) was born in Galicia (at the time part of Austria) and moved to Munich where he undertook his education and worked. An influential artistic voice in the Zionist Movement, even being labeled “the first Zionist artist”, he was one of the founders of the Juedischer Verlag, an important Jewish cultural publishing house in Berlin. He also helped to establish (1906) the Bezalel School of Art in Jerusalem and spent time there as an instructor.
This double sheet poster is backed onto acid-free linen. The two sheets are registered inexactly a printing artifact. There has been restoration work on the original folds and two pinholes at the top corners have been repaired. The poster overall is bright and clean.
height – 48″; width 34 5/8”