Poster art has long offered designers and illustrators a creative-and lucrative-space to develop signature styles. The film poster was developed in the 1890s, concurrent with the birth of cinema. And just as France pioneered the art of film, it also took the lead in creating notable poster art to advertise motion pictures. The French artists whose works are presented in this exhibition were among the foremost graphic artists of their day. Today, their original works are highly sought after by collectors. Part of the Pacific Film Archive's collection of over eight thousand international film posters, these rare prints were bequeathed to BAMPFA by the late Mel Novikoff, founder of San Francisco's first repertory cinema chain, Surf Theaters, which included the Surf, the Lumiere, and the Castro. Novikoff collected these posters during many trips to Europe, and for years they graced the lobbies of cinemas in the Surf chain. Now they can be enjoyed in the museum's Theater Gallery, where admission is free.