This is a private collection of more than 10.000 illustrated sheet music mostly
from between 1890 and 1940, with a particular interest for Art Nouveau and Art Deco. Although the
collection centers around French illustrators (68%) it also contains hundreds of beautiful
illustrations from Belgium (13%), the United States (6%), Great Britain (4%), Italy, Germany,
Austria, The Netherlands, Argentina, etc.
Most of the items are approximately 27x35 cm (large format) or the somewhat smaller US ‘medium’ size (9x12 inch). Still a quarter of the collection are small documents known as ‘petit formats’ (13,5x17cm). Sometimes sheet music was published in both large and small edition, and in other variations such as different publishers, colours, pictures and languages.
For at least 20% of the sheet music, the illustrator for the cover is unknown (represented by a ‘?’) or the signature or monogram is illegible. When we have inferred the artist from other sources, his/her name is represented between square brackets ‘[...]’. Sometimes we have a signature, but no biographical information (yet) on the artist.
Many of the nicest prints shown here are lithographs and zincographs, resulting in vivid graphism. Reproducing artwork for posters, publicity and sheet music by transfering ink from the flat surface of stones or from zinc plates on paper, was a popular printing technique. For each colour on the cover of the sheet music a separate plate was necessary.
The shown items are not for sale, nor do we have scans of the musical notation. All artwork displayed on this website is copyrighted property of the respective artists and their legal representatives.
This collection, and this site, is a work in progress: we are still correcting mistakes, adding or changing information and images, and - of course - collecting old sheet music. You can write us through the contact page on our blog.
Also visit our blog at Images Musicales Stories to learn more about some of our sheet music covers.