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Ephemera Events & Exhibitions

Ephemera Society Summer & Winter Fairs 2020

Sundays · 31 May & 6 December

2020 ephemera summer fair is cancelled

A window into the past for both the curious and the collector — find rare, unusual and historic paper items, priced from £2 to over £2000. A huge range of ephemera will be on display. The fairs will be on for one day only so make a note in your diary now, we look forward to seeing you there!

Holiday Inn London Bloomsbury
Coram Street
London WC1N 1HT
United Kingdom

Entry £3 · 11am - 4pm · All welcome
Early admission for members from 10am with membership card

Interested in booking a table for the fair? Reserve your space - download the booking form

For more details call 01923 829079 or email

Join us! The Ephemera Society is always pleased to welcome new members. Payment can be made online by PayPal.


George Him: A Polish Designer for Mid-Century Britain

Until 10 May 2020

Bottle labels

The first ever retrospective of Polish-Jewish émigré who brought European modernist aesthetics to British graphic design.

Spanning George Him’s long and versatile career as both an independent designer and as one half of the prolific Lewitt-Him partnership (1933-1954), the exhibition will include iconic wartime propaganda posters for the Ministries of Food and Information, corporate branding for El Al airlines and adverts for clients like Schweppes, Technicolor, the Post Office and The Times.

Image: Bottle labels for Schweppes, 1960 © The Estate of George Him

  • House of Illustration
  • 2 Granary Square
  • King's Cross,London,
  • N1C 4BH
  • UK
  • More details


Art Deco By The Sea

Until 14 June 2020

Exhibition poster

This beautiful and exciting show will include around 120 works including paintings, posters, brochures, drawings, photographs, fashion, furniture, ceramics, glass and textiles, drawn from both public and private collections across the UK.

Image: detail from poster by Septimus Edwin Scott, ‘New Brighton and Wallasey’, 1923–1947, London Midland and Scottish Railway company. Courtesy National Railway Museum, York

  • Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts
  • University of East Anglia
  • Norwich
  • Norfolk NR4 7TJ
  • UK
  • More details


‘A Day at the Seaside’: vintage posters from a golden age of travel and tourism

Until 26 April 2020

Poster image

This vibrant and colourful exhibition recalls an age when travelling by train for a holiday at the seaside was the height of sophistication. Dating from the 1910s to the 1970s, the posters in A Day at the Seaside were issued by the-then Scarborough Corporation’s tourism department, and by rail companies operating in the area.

Included in the display are nostalgic images of penguins seeking shade under a parasol on Scarborough’s South Bay beach along with many other bright idyllic scenes from the sunny seaside resort. The posters in the exhibition are all taken from the 200-plus original posters held in the Scarborough Collections, cared for by Scarborough Museums Trust.

  • Woodend
  • The Crescent
  • Scarborough
  • North Yorkshire YO11 2PW
  • UK
  • More details


With Love: Letters of love, loss and longing

Until 5 July 2020

Love token 1848

Tho' small the gift to thee I send, Acceptance let it meet
For ever trifles from a Friend, To Friendship's eyes are sweet

Jane Walter May 1848

In The National Archives latest exhibition, love letters offer glimpses into private worlds – from a queen’s treasonous love letter, to the generous wish of a naval hero and the forlorn poetry of a prime minister. Expect secret stories of heartbreak, passion and disappointment as you explore 500 years of letters in this intimate exhibition.

  • The National Archives
  • Kew, Richmond
  • Surrey
  • UK
  • More details


Toulouse-Lautrec and the Masters of Montmartre

Until 26 May 2020

Jules Cheret poster This exhibition will bring the sights and sounds of Lautrec’s thrilling Bohemian Paris to life. The exhibition will revisit the ‘street art’ of the era showcasing over 80 works by Toulouse-Lautrec, Mucha, Steinlen and more.

Bright, bold, and found everywhere along the boulevards of fin-de-siècle Paris, the colour poster was a brilliant fusion of art and commerce.

It advertised cigarette papers and milk, immortalized stage stars and bohemian cabarets, and won the adoration of passersby and art collectors alike.

As pedestrians encountered these lively posters posted on the Parisian boulevards, the pulse of modern life seemed to beat faster, inciting them to acquire the prints– by buying and selling special editions or stealthily removing them from walls and kiosks.

Image: Jules Chéret, Moulin Rouge, Paris-Cancan, 1890. Photo © Musée d’Ixelles-Bruxelles / Courtesy of Institut für Kulturaustausch, Tübingen

  • Victoria Art Gallery
  • Bridge Street
  • Bath
  • Somerset, BA2 4AT
  • UK
  • More details


Illusions: The Art of Magic

Until 18 May 2020

Illusions: The Art of Magic transports you back in time to the Golden Age of Magic when death-defying tricks, daring escapes and colourful personas turned performers like The Incomparable Albini and Harry Houdini into world-famous celebrities.

Magic poster

Magicians of the late 19th and early 20th centuries were show business pioneers. They were among the first artists to embark on international tours and to promote themselves and their magical powers through illustrated advertisements ranging in scale from postcards to wall-sized posters.

The exhibition will feature more than 55 colourful and stylized posters from the Allan Slaight Collection of the McCord Museum, Montreal, alongside photographs, films, documents and ephemera.

Image: Adolph Friedländer, Comedians de Mephisto Co. Allied with Le Roy-Talma-Bosco, 1905. McCord Museum.

  • Art Gallery of Ontario
  • 317 Dundas Street West
  • Toronto, Ontario
  • M5T 1G4
  • Canada
  • More details


Currency in crisis: German emergency money 1914–1924

Until 29 March 2020

Notgeld with value of 25 pfennig This exhibition reveals how this temporary currency responded to a national crisis with distinctive designs commenting on German society and politics. These range from the Turnip Notgeld lamenting the disastrous food shortage of 1917, to richly illustrated designs featuring regional landmarks and folk narratives, intended to buoy a population hungry for reassurance.

In its short lifespan, Notgeld's purpose and design changed dramatically. It was introduced as a substitute currency during a coin shortage in the First World War, with patriotic and sometimes subversive messages. Popular with German people, it became highly collectable and then, during the hyperinflation of 1923, regained its role as an alternative currency.

In the chaotic early years of the Weimar Republic (1919–1933), designs often depicted idealised views of German history and culture, as well as exciting travel advertisements, appealing to a people longing to shake off the bitter war years. Intrinsically bound to German identity and the upheaval that followed the First World War, Notgeld is a fascinating microcosm of public feeling in post-war Germany.

Image: Notgeld with value of 25 pfennig, issued in Brocken, Germany, 1922.

  • The British Museum
  • Room 69a
  • Great Russell Street
  • London WC1B 3DG
  • UK
  • More details


Japanese Modernism

Until 14 October 2020

Detail from poster

During the first half of the twentieth century Japan’s traditional art and aesthetics interacted with European life and culture, resulting in a pulsating era of Japanese modernism and the creation of Asian Art Deco architecture, paintings, prints, design and fashion.

From the early 1920s until the late 1930s Japan developed a lively consumer culture and felt the influence of new technologies from abroad. Its cities underwent major redevelopment and featured bustling streets filled with department stores, cafés, teahouses, movie theatres, ballroom dance halls and modern transportation that catered to a new generation of urban pleasure seekers.

The exhibition features major works by young female artists of the era, rare large-scale paintings by young Japanese artists and modernist colour prints produced with the refined techniques of traditional ukiyo-e. The exhibition also features fashion of the era, including women’s and men’s kimonos and related accessories.

Popular culture and interior design will be represented with beautifully crafted glassware, lacquer ware and bronze ware, as well as street posters, magazines and graphic design.

Image: Detail from To the sea colour wood block print.
Copyright © National Gallery of Victoria

  • National Gallery of Victoria
  • 180 St Kilda Road
  • Melbourne
  • Australia
  • More details


Use Hearing Protection: the early years of Factory Records

3 July 2020 – 10 January 2021

Exhibition poster

Celebrate Manchester's place at the heart of Britain's music and creative industries with our new exhibition dedicated to one of the city's most influential record labels.

This special exhibition tells the story of Factory Records' formative years from 1978 to 1982, and how their innovative work in music, technology and design gave Manchester an authentic voice and distinctive identity. Founded by Tony Wilson and Alan Erasmus, the label played an influential part in the city's transformation from an industrial powerhouse to a beacon of art and culture.

See the first 50 artefacts from the official Factory catalogue, including creations from Joy Division, New Order and The Durutti Column, as well as graphic designs by Peter Saville, previously unseen items from the Factory archives and objects loaned from the estates of both Tony Wilson and Rob Gretton, the former manager of Joy Division and New Order.

  • Science and Industry Museum
  • Temporary Exhibition Gallery
  • Level 1, New Warehouse
  • Liverpool Road, Manchester M3 4FP
  • UK
  • More details


325 years, 325 objects

Until 15 June 2020

An exhibition celebrating the Bank of England’s 325th anniversary through 325 objects featuring some notable ephemera.

Counterfeit bank note from 1857.

From Roman relics to a nuclear fall-out calculator from the Cold War, the exhibition features a variety of fascinating artefacts to celebrate the Bank's 325th anniversary, the objects explore how money and the way we pay for things has transformed since the Bank of England was established in 1694.

  • Bank of England Museum
  • Bartholomew Lane
  • London EC2R 8AH
  • UK
  • More details
  • Image: Counterfeit bank note from 1857. © 2019 Bank of England