Film producer to talk about poster exhibit

Mike Kaplan's vintage collection is on display at CLU

Mike Kaplan, an award-winning art director and producer, chose more than 40 vintage film posters from his personal collection for the exhibit.

Photo: Deborah Hardee

(THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Jan. 10, 2014) Film producer Mike Kaplan will be featured in a free Tea and Talk from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1, in conjunction with the exhibit “Gotta Dance!” at the William Rolland Gallery of Fine Art at California Lutheran University.

Kaplan, an award-winning art director and producer, will give a presentation in Lundring Events Center on the “Gotta Dance!” exhibition, which includes more than 40 vintage film posters from his personal collection. A reception will be held in the Rolland Gallery following the presentation, and Kaplan will lead a guided tour of the exhibit.

When Kaplan was 8, he started coloring the theater ads in The New York Times and was fascinated by how they would change. Later, he began collecting film posters from Hollywood memorabilia shops and then from auctions and the Internet.

During his career as a producer, director and distributor, Kaplan has collaborated on poster campaigns with artists including David Hockney, Don Bachardy, Allen Jones, John Van Hamersveld and André Carrilho. He frequently worked with British airbrush artist Philip Castle, including on a poster for Stanley Kubrick’s “A Clockwork Orange” that was voted the All-Time Best Film Poster by patrons of England’s Odeon Cinema Circuit.

“Gotta Dance!” is on exhibit through Feb. 8. The free exhibit spotlights the movie poster as an underappreciated art form and explores the diverse ways in which dance has been used as a dominant image to represent musicals and other films. Kaplan selected the works, which are of varying size and rarity, for their artistic and historical significance. The majority date from between 1930 and 1950, a golden age for movie poster design. Many are from overseas, where designers made extensive use of illustrations rather than photos. There are posters from the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Sweden, Denmark, Poland and Argentina.

Highlights include an original French-release poster for “An American in Paris” that belonged to Gene Kelly, a poster featuring a young James Stewart dancing with Eleanor Powell in “Born to Dance” and an immaculate image of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in elegant evening attire for “Carefree.” The exhibit also features a rare American 40-by-60-inch “Strike Up the Band” poster featuring Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland in caricaturist Al Hirschfeld’s design. There are several posters from major musicals including the East German “West Side Story.”

Lundring Events Center is located in the Gilbert Sports and Fitness Center at 130 Overton Court on the Thousand Oaks campus. The Rolland Gallery is located at 160 Overton Court. The gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. For more information, contact curator Jeff Phillips at 805-493-3697.