Vintage Posters Island Style
December 9, 2010 § Leave a comment
If you are a vintage poster enthusiast, you probably look for galleries whenever you travel. You are liable to find poster dealers in major cities- New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Paris. It is more of a surprise to find an enormous collection on a tiny Pacific Island. Alan Dickar started dealing in antique posters in New York in the early 1990s. He moved to California, where he established himself at shows. I met him in 1997, and we soon began to work together. We loved doing the now defunct PMA collectibles show, where we met actresses from Planet of the Apes, Michael Jackson and got a nice smile and a wave from Neil Young. Ever restless, Alan travelled to Maui Hawaii in the year 2001 and set up a temporary installation. His plan was to find a way to do shows there, and to return to the Bay Area after a few months.
Success changed that plan. Soon, I was busy culling the California collection and shipping enormous tubes of posters to him every month. Eventually, when it became clear that the island had it’s hold on Alan, we split up the businesses. I bought the California business and Alan went on to sign a lease in Maui. Today he still operates Vintage European Posters at 744 Front Street in Lahaina. We have remained great friends, and have independently continued to cultivate separate contacts in France. This is a tremendous asset to us because it means we turn up different posters and can share our finds.
Last month I paid a visit to the Maui shop. The staff in the shop are friendly and helpful, and they have made some great improvements since my last trip. In addition to the gallery, VEP Maui now has a well organized storeroom and workshop, where I was able to comb through extra goodies. Also, there is a very professional linen backing studio on the other side of the island with an innovation I’ve not seen before- a lighted table. This is useful in looking at paper before backing to see hairline cracks and areas where paper may be thin. It helps avoid problems when the posters are wet to see the fragile areas ahead of time. Brilliant! While I was there, I saw a Parapluie Revel which had been de-zinced (Some posters were mounted onto zinc so they could be displayed outdoors for an extended period of time without disintegrating.) and was about to be mounted and restored.
I also got to visit with our Framer, Glenn Young of Artscapes framing who lives upcountry in Maui and commutes to the Bay Area to run the Campbell shop. He took us on a beautiful hike to Twin Falls where we swam under the waterfall.