Graphics: Keeping Posted

Posters in the U.S. have rarely achieved the artistry that was common in Europe in the days when Toulouse-Lautrec limned Jane Avril. Promoters too often preferred to slap uninspired or badly lettered placards on walls and fences. But in the past six years, U.S. art lovers have become accustomed to seeing the works of Robert Indiana, Roy Lichtenstein, Richard Lindner and Ben Shahn on posters boosting concerts, festivals and even the presidential campaign. Many of the best were inspired by a Connecticut grandmother and art collector named Vera List.

Vera List is...