School posters

From the second half of the 19th century until the 1950s, school posters were widely used in Dutch educational institutions. For generations of people, these school posters have a strong association with their school years. Centre Céramique manages a collection of over 600 school posters.


Origins of the collection

The collection of school posters and wall maps was once compiled by the the Beyaert monks (official name: Fratres Immaculata Conceptae: Brothers of the Immaculate Conception F.I.C.) and were later incorporated into the Maastricht City Library collection.

Contemplative education

The origin of the school posters lies in what is known as ‘contemplative education’. In this type of education, in addition to exercising the powers of observation, the goal was to expand knowledge on a wide variety of subjects.


Foreign school posters

One thing that makes the Dutch situation so unique is the use of foreign school posters. Publishing a school poster series was quite an undertaking for a publishing house based in a relatively small country. Posters from other countries were used for many school subjects such as knowledge of nature, geography and biblical history.

The end of school posters

The end didn’t arrive for school posters until the advent of audio-visual teaching aids and educational television in the 1950s. These days, you don’t see them in schools anymore, and they certainly aren’t hanging on the walls of classrooms. They have been banished to attics and cellars, used to level floors, or just tossed in a landfill.