Poster for the original production of La Bohème
Milan: Officine Grafiche Ricordi, 1895
James Fuld Collection
In 1874 the firm of Ricordi established an in-house printing operation to promote its music. Adolf Hohenstein, a set designer at La Scala, joined Ricordi in 1889. As its art director, he produced covers for librettos, music scores, posters, playbills, and postcards. A master of the Art Nouveau style, Hohenstein is often referred to as the "father of the Italian poster." Under his direction, a host of graphic designers emerged.