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Vintage European Posters, Lahaina

#23 of 30 in Shopping in Lahaina
Gift & Specialty Shop · Hidden Gem · Shopping
Posters originated over 100 years ago in Paris as an eye-catching way to advertise a product, show or a vacation spot. These lithographs showed striking, humorous or simply beautiful images intended to attract the public’s attention long enough to convey the advertiser’s message. Posters quickly

became a popular form of street art – they could be understood easily and appreciated by everyone. Though many people at the time realized that they were looking at true pieces of art, the lithographers who printed them used fragile newsprint to keep printing costs down.

Posters were intended to be used for a short time – usually one or two weeks – and then thrown out. Most posters were either discarded, recycled, or have simply been destroyed by the march of time. One hundred years is a long time for a piece of newsprint to last. Few survive in good condition today, and international desire for these lithographs has blossomed over the past decade.

The combination of a finite quantity and ever-increasing demand has led to a fairly steady rise in poster prices. Many posters that cost between $200 and $500 in the early 1990’s now sell for between $1,000 and $10,000. Posters that survived in a quantity might sell for a fairly constant price for a few years, but, when the available quantity diminishes and dealers can no longer replace the poster easily, then watch out! The price of a good image can double very quickly. Posters have made very good investments, with the extra dividend that they add smiles to your daily life.

Owner and collector, Alan Dickar, fell in love with vintage posters by accident. In 1995, while working as an economist in New York City, a friend asked him to help flip posters at an antique show. Alan was immediately captivated by the posters and the rich history they tell. He bought 77 posters from his friend and began selling them as a hobby. He soon realized that he enjoyed posters more than economics, took a leave of absence from his job, and became a full time poster dealer.

In 2001, after six years of doing poster shows and lectures on both the east and west coasts, Alan came to Maui on a whim and set up a temporary gallery in the historic Old Lahaina Store building at 744 Front Street. The gallery was supposed to last two months. That was a decade ago.

The collection is now one of the largest in the U.S. with over 70,000 vintage posters. The company has warehouses in France and on Maui. Alan, General Manager Franck Soler, and other long time members of the staff travel regularly, hunting for posters. The entire staff's knowledge and affection for the posters is evident to anyone who spends time in the gallery.

Our philosophy is to not only find images in good condition that we can sell at very reasonable prices, but to create an environment that makes people feel welcome and comfortable within these doors. We're more than just an art gallery and antiques shop; between our staff and our clients, we're one big, quirky family, a fact that keeps many of our patrons coming back year after year. It usually starts with passing along our passion and knowledge for posters, and inevitably develops into strong and meaningful friendships outside of the business. Whether your in the gallery to buy a few posters, swap stories about the kids and family, or get advice on the best places to eat in Maui, anyone who comes in to Vintage European Posters usually comes back. This is a special fact that we attribute a large portion of our success to, and this Facebook page is dedicated to all of you, so that even if you don't make it back to the island, you can still be a part of the action, joy, and beauty that is Vintage European Posters.
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Vintage European Posters reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 5.0
23 reviews
  • We were just browsing, but came away with a very nice advertising poster. Great selection on almost any motif. Super knowledgeable staff, shipping back to the mainland for your poster. Stop by...  more »
  • Spend some time in Vintage European Posters and you will learn so much! Jack is a bank of knowledge about the artists, history, context, and other anecdotes regarding these beautiful, original...  more »
  • Great service and great inventory. Always a pleasure speaking on the phone or having detailed conversations with them. Sasha especially is very knowledgeable and a pleasure to deal with. I've purchased a few prints from them and always look forward to speaking with them about an obscure or not too obscure item. Looking forward to visiting in Hawaii.
  • This place is a huge hidden gem for art deco/classic European hand painted advertisement posters from early 1900's-hidden right in plain sight in the main drag in town. Vast collection of wonderful poster art from around the world🌐, but mostly featuring pieces from Europe. They DO NOT have an online catalog last time I checked so you either visit it in person or try to deal by phone. Smaller sized prints go for around $30-$1000 all the way to huge, full wall posters selling for anywhere from $500 to $5,000 & even higher. Definitely an art enthusiast's "must see" destination while in the area. Staff was incredibly friendly, taking us through dozens of posters, if not hundreds of options until we found the perfect one, sized just right at the perfect price. Like most people there, we were on vacation & didn't want to lug around a piece of newly purchased fine art all vacation long so they shipped it to us to arrive upon our return home. Everything was delivered in great shape, on the expected delivery date & so we fully plan on going back for more art next time we are in the area. A great stop just for browsing as much as it's perfect for a serious collector & everyone in between who enjoys this style of artwork. Highly recommended. 👍

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