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Publication Date

Fall 2008

Degree Type

Thesis - Campus Access Only

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Art and Design


Beverly K. Grindstaff

Subject Areas

Art History; Women's Studies


Advertising posters produced during the Art Nouveau movement in 1880s France had a prominent influence on graphic design all over the world. After their success in France, posters in this style influenced arts and affected economic development of the other European countries, America, and Asia. In addition, French posters that featured a modern woman elevated the status of women, and the popular advocacy of the image of the New Women spread internationally. However, women in each society experienced an inferior status to men in reality which contrasted to the new depictions. While women figures in posters reflected the increasing rights of women, their artists also depicted women's subordinated roles metaphorically. This thesis examines the influence of Art Nouveau depictions of women on Chinese advertising posters, comparing the Western and Eastern artists' concepts and historical backgrounds. It focuses especially on how Shanghai posters were modeled upon an attitude of ideal national women as depicted by Alphonse Mucha, the most outstanding poster artist during the Art Nouveau.