Valerie and Jim Clark
We started I Desire Vintage Posters in 1987, as what seemed an exciting extension of a long-standing enthusiasm for visual art and modern design. Soon after the launch of our business we enjoyed an ongoing involvement with the beverage museum established by the Seagram Corporation in the original Seagram property in Waterloo, Ontario. This step allowed us to gain understanding of both corporate and museum worlds, as well as develop a grasp of the emotional side of the market for “Art in Advertising”(the title of a held-over, eighteen month show we presented there). We also staged many shows in Toronto during the 1980s and 1990s.
We knew from the outset that this retailing venture upon which we’d embarked would be much more than moving inventory, and as time has passed we have been happily surprised by just how stimulating and encouraging this work can be. There is the searching in Europe (there was no world wide web as we know it now) for those remnants of wit and heart comprising the limited and dwindling supply of vintage graphic art. In the course of that pleasant meandering, we have come to know many very gracious, knowledgeable and amusing people in the vintage posters business, in Europe, the US and Canada. As the passage of time has come to favor interactions on the internet, our affairs also concentrate upon that oceanic navigation. Although such an outreach contends with problems of remoteness, we have experienced gratifying surprise in the warmth and attentiveness of many collectors on every continent, as our select testimonials, listed below, describe. To see more testimonials, please visit our TESTIMONIALS Page.
Proving in a big way that there is always room for more sizzle, in the Fall of 2012 we were very fortunate to have been brought into the energies of the FOSSIL design corporation, and a new range of possibilities came into our business life. We provided them with vantage graphics which they placed for sale in the FOSSIL FINDS store. Moreover, we were featured in an interview posted on the FOSSIL FINDS website. This beautifully crowned our wonderful 25th anniversary season.We are always looking to add new galleries as we have done more recently since 2013--the iPod Gallery, for the "young at heart" and our Canadian Collection Gallery, especially rare and wonderful posters and ephemera. This gallery will welcome our 28th year, February, 2015!
WHY CHOOSE US? AT LEAST A DOZEN REASONS
- We have a special enthusiasm for our graphic gems, which has resulted in a unique collection and enthusiastic clients. (I Desire has one of the largest collections of graphics by the Italian artist, Gino Boccasile.)“My mother’s birthday gift was a success! She framed it beautifully and took it to a (Boccasile) family wedding on the east side of Philly this weekend. Me and my brother were there and it looked fantastic. Thanks for your help...In addition, another family member who is doing a family tree website, put your site up as more people could use something like that. Thanks again” M; July, 2002
- Our shipping and handling record is exceptional for its efficiency and cost. “Well, after all our anxiety the pochoirs arrived safe and sound this morning, very quick! They are lovely, and thank you for the careful packaging. It’s been a pleasure to do business with you, Valerie.” BC; Aug., 2008
- We offer the most flexible payment terms in the poster business. “My husband and I just returned from our honeymoon in San Sebastian and were unable to find ourselves a souvenir that we desired to commemorate the occasion. We came across this online and would love to become owners of such a print! Any details you could provide would be wonderful...” “Thank you again for all of your help and willingness to work with us!” AG; Apr., 2010
- We specialize in gift items for that special occasion. “Just a note to let you know that my husband was absolutely thrilled about the poster. I was able to put it up on the wall without him noticing it. When we walked into the room he stared at it in disbelief and then broke out into smiles and a thousand questions, where did you find it, how did you manage to get your hands on this one etc. etc. It was great. A total surprise and he absolutely loves the poster. Same as me. He likes it better in real than just seeing it on a picture. We are sooooooo happy. Thanks Valerie.” B; Oct., 2006
- We have been poster dealers since 1987 and in 1996, we became Charter Members of the International Vintage Poster Dealers Association. For 8 years, we have both been active on the Public Relations Committee as co chair, and Valerie served for a term on the Board. “During the last months we have worked very hard on our new IVPDA website. Several of our members have done a wonderful job and I dare to say that none of us has worked as hard as Valerie and Jim Clark...” L; Jan.2006
- We offer energetic searches for specific graphics and subject areas. “Thank you so much for doing me this favor, I so appreciate it! You and your husband are really swell, as they used to say back in the day!” DP; May, 2009
- We are a source of special items for other dealers. “Well, the pictures have just arrived, and I am so happy for my client (it is going to Vienna, as am I in a couple of weeks.)” JB; Sept., 2001
- We often hold sales to promote and celebrate our business. “I can’t tell you how happy I am to have this poster for such a good price.” IM; Sept., 2007
- We happily spend lots of time on our customer’s needs by appointment, emails and phone calls (we are available 7 days a week). “Thanks so much for your patience with me and this sale. I’ve really enjoyed our interaction and transaction.” EH; May, 2008
- We enjoy educating our clients and learning from them. “Thank you so much for your warm hospitality when we visited you on Wednesday. Both of you were so informative and I enjoyed learning more about vintage posters. We are very excited to display our new poster.” AP; Dec., 2001
- Our clients enjoy the one-to-one attention during gallery appointments. “Thank you for having me to your lovely home/gallery. I was expecting at best to get some shopping done but the pleasant conversation with you and Jim surprisingly punctuated the fact that we do not live in a vacuum. Our actions and rhetoric are important in creating and maintaining a community and culture. I’m so pleased it worked out that I chose a Canadian poster from your so very local business.” ML; Dec., 2009
- We provide a Certificate of Authenticity with the Sales Invoice. “It was indeed a privilege to have been able to ‘adopt’ the delightful and unusual vintage graphic. I promise to give it a good home...Thank you for the documentation relative to the poster and for sharing the historical context of lithographic art in the post-war era.” BA; Dec., 2006
RECOGNITION OF I DESIRE VINTAGE POSTERS (since 1999)
- Canadian House and Home (November, 1999) Article on where to buy Vintage Posters.
- The New York Times Sunday Magazine (April 22,2001) Cover story of basketball star, Marcus Camby showing his collection purchased from I Desire Vintage Posters.
- The New York Times Online Shopper Column (June 7, 2001) Article illustrated with 2 color photos of posters from our collection.
- Forbes.Com Best of the Web Directory for Collecting Vintage Posters (2001 to present).
- American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund (Dec 18, 2001) I Desire contributed posters for the post- 9/11 fund raising event in New York.
- Cooking Light: Food Art; Collecting Vintage Posters (Dec., 2002) Interview with Jim; article illustrated with colorful food posters, some from I Desire.
- Participation in a fundraising auction for a Toronto Hospital (May,2008).
- Vintage Style Graphics feature, with 24 color plates, in design publication, (Angela Patchell Books; London,2010) 159pp.
- Escape Hotel Stories--Retreat and Refuge in Nature (Assouline Publishers; New York, 2012) Dust jacket cover showing a French travel poster courtesy of I Desire Vintage Posters.
- Conde Nast --Several posters chosen from our collection by Conde Nast online summer show opening July 2, 2013 headlined: Vintage Travel Posters: Impossibly Glamorous Beach Vacations "It could be the magic of advertising, but these vintage travel posters make yesteryear's beach vacations look so carefree and chic. Click through for some summer vacation—or apartment decoration—inspiration…"
- Financial News Website (London, UK) --"Here is the City"(May 19, 2014) features a vintage poster lover's dilemma of making the best poster selection for her home, from our gallery and those of a few of our esteemed colleagues.
- Embracing an Icon: The Posters of Bernard Villemot Catalogue Raisonne by George and Jeanne Bon Salle (2015): Our love affair with vintage posters began with Villemot's Bally Valentine. This was acknowledged by the author and collector George Bon Salle, who after 12 1/2 years of dedicated work and with whom we shared many an email of encouragement along with Villemot poster transactions, kindly acknowledged us in his book. He also hand wrote a lovely tribute on the frontispiece "To Jim and Valerie Clark...Two of the greatest fans B. Villemot ever had! George Bon Salle" We say Bravo George and Jeanne! And many thanks for generously sharing with us, during the many years before the birth of the tome! Please visit our tribute blog to Villemot's book.
- Interviewed by Eugene Knapik of The 27th Street Podcast (September, 2015) about our history and excitement for vintage posters. See link to podcast on Home Page.