MICA to buy Globe Poster collection

Baltimore company was famous for colorful concert posters

March 11, 2011|By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun

The colorful work of Baltimore's Globe Poster Company, which began in 1929 and closed last year, will live on at the Maryland Institute College of Art.

MICA announced Friday that it would acquire approximately 75 percent of Globe's collection — about 5,000 letterpress illustrations, many of them hand-carved; 350 drawers of type; and original posters Globe created for the likes of James Brown and Frank Zappa. It was one of the country's largest makers of posters in this form.

"Globe is a national treasure and a unique part of Baltimore's cultural history," MICA provost Raymond Allen said in a statement. "MICA is thrilled to be able to bring this extraordinary collection onto its campus. … [It] will make Baltimore a special destination for those with a special interest in hand letterpress work."

From the days of vaudeville to the era of hip-hop, Globe posters had a distinctive look, with bold type and, eventually, Day-Glo colors. Since the company's closing late last year, MICA has been in discussions to preserve the archive, which will be used as a resource for students and teachers.

"It's part of this city's heritage and shows Baltimore's contributions to music and entertainment," said Bob Cicero, who owned the Globe company with his brother, Frank Cicero. "We are really pleased that the collection will be kept together to be studied and used by a new generation."

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