Carnivals, Cognac, and Cycling

During the period spanning the turn of the century, Paris, one of the most vibrant cities in the world, experienced an explosion in print media. Now-familiar artists – Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Pierre Bonnard, and others – made names for themselves producing ephemera such as posters, journal illustrations, theatre programs, and advertisements.  Drawn from the Robert L. Haskins and Erwin A. Raible Collection of Fin-de-Siécle Prints in the GVSU Print and Drawing Cabinet, Carnivals, Cognac and Cycling provides a view into the visual culture of late nineteenth century France, with special attention given to entertainment, advertising, and popular activities in Paris.

Over the 2019 winter semester (January-April), fourteen GVSU students conducted research for this exhibition in the Modern Art and Modernity course, taught by Assistant Professor Ellen Adams (Art Gallery/Frederik Meijer Honors College). Each student “adopted” one work of art for in-depth study, produced original research, and presented their findings to their classmates and now to the university as a whole.

Woman with flowing skirt dancing while people in shadow watch. Man in shadow in foreground.

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Moulin Rouge Bal Tous Les Soirs La Goulue, 1896, color lithograph on paper

three men on bikes in blue uniforms racing across beach

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, La Chaîne Simpson (detail), 1896, color lithograph, 2008.487.230

fan with lithographic print of woman with flowers in her long, orange hair next to text that reads "Grands Magasins de Nouveautes"

Fernand Toussaint, Grand Magasins de Nouveautes (detail), 1895, Lithographic Promotional Fan, 2008.487.77

Woman with closed eyes holding fan and glass of champagne in front of yellow background and below text that reads "France Champagne"

Pierre Bonnard, France Champagne (detail), 1891, color lithograph poster, 2008.487.212


To learn more about the history of artwork in 19th century France check out these resources:

Color lithographic of man speaking to and blowing smoke at woman in yellow dress. She looks angry and is clenching her fist.

Tancréde Synave, Mlle Fifi (detail), 1895, color lithograph, 2008.487.104 


November 2, 2020 - March 5, 2021

Eberhard Gallery
L.V. Eberhard Center
301 W Fulton St
Grand Rapids, MI 49504

Gallery hours are reflective of Eberhard Center, including changes made due to semester, holiday, or campus-wide event.



For special accommodation, please call:
(616) 331-2563

For exhibition details and media inquires, please email:
Joel Zwart, Curator of Exhibitions
[email protected]

For learning and engagement opportunities, please email:
Amanda Rainey, User Experience and Learning Manager
[email protected]

Page last modified April 11, 2022