Before Les Misérables was a hit musical, it was a hit book. Written in the mid-19th century by French poet and novelist Victor Hugo, the book was widely acclaimed upon its initial release in 1862. Famed writer Upton Sinclair would later declare Les Misérables, “one of the half-dozen greatest novels of the world.”
At the time, a common way to advertise and promote books was via large, life-size posters, so big you couldn’t miss them. These were often painted by popular artists of the time.
We’re honored to house one such poster that advertises the Les Miz book. A lithograph made by French artist George Dupuis, the poster features a trio of panels based on characters and scenarios from the book: Marius and Cosette meeting in the garden; Jean Valjean in shackles; and Javert confronting Fantine.
The poster was made in the late 19th or early 20th century, sometime between 1895 and 1905.
You can find it on the fifth floor of Bass Hall, on the east side of the building. It is located between the two glass doors that lead to the balcony.
The Les Miz poster is part of a collection of rare posters on display throughout Bass Hall. The collection was gifted to Bass Hall by the Hyder family of Fort Worth.
Tickets to the musical Les Misérables are still available. More information here.