I am a city kid, born and raised in the city but the buildings of the city became mountains and the streets and alleyways became trails and canyons as I played at being a cowboy.
I watched Hoppy, Gene, and Roy on television on Saturdays. I grew up; I think, went to college, became a professor of art and design and began to collect Western movie posters.
Initially my pursuit of Western movie posters created an opportunity for me to return to my childhood but gradually I came to appreciate them as unique, one of a kind works of art.
The strong graphics, range on intense and subtle colors, the bold designs, the creative typography, and the richness of the lithographic printing process, are qualities that are associated with fine poster art, and are characteristics of Western movie posters.
The posters themselves were printed on thin paper, folded and sent to theaters to be displayed to promote the film. They could be returned to a poster exchange for perhaps two cents but were often discarded. The posters had no real value except to promote the movie at a brief moment in time.
This is why to this day when I come across a Western movie poster it is conceivable that it could be the only one still in existence for that particular film.
Often I find the posters in poor condition - tapes, torn, stained, and with pieces missing. I mount the posters on acid-free paper and canvas using water based wheat paste in a process that is reversible. I use restorer's colors and poster paper to fill in missing areas in the poster. Every time I restore a poster I feel I am saving a work of art - a part of our Western film culture heritage.
It has been and continues to be an exciting journey in the quest for Western movie posters. I would like to share this experience with you by giving you an opportunity to purchase a part of our Western Film History from the Poster Corral of Cirone Studios.
- Tony Cirone