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There are poster stores, and then there is this poster store: The Omnibus Gallery stocks what is possibly the world's best and vastest collection of rare posters primarily dating from the 1880s to 1939.
Proprietor George Sells has been in business for 30 years, and his shop attracts collectors, graphic enthusiasts, and art aficionados alike. Posters range in price from about $1,000 to near $750,000—"People come in here and ask, 'How much is that?' And I’ll say $50,000. 'Well, I can get a painting for that.' Well, yeah, but is that painting is something MoMA would ever touch? I’ve got a Klimt over there and, well, MoMA has one too."
"What I sell is a collective unconscious," Sells says. "People have been seeing it, one way or another, all their lives."
One especially rare gem, which takes up an entire back wall of the shop, is a floor-to-ceiling poster that graced the stage during Josephine Baker's first-ever performance in 1925. "It was the original artwork for her first show," Sells says.
How did he get it? "Money," he says. "The same way you would be able to get it."
"This was at a friend's house. It took me about 20, 25 years before I could finally get the person to part with it. It will probably never sell."
· The Omnibus Gallery [Official Site]
· All Aspen Coverage [Racked]