The adventure of Galerie 1 2 3 begins in April 1977, when Jean-Daniel Clerc discovers by chance twenty-one vintage posters under a wooden floor. They had been slid there in the 1920s as simple insulating material! The posters depict a Renault Grand Sport car at full speed. The beauty of the image, the quality of the colours and of the lithographic printing enthral Jean-Daniel Clerc – incidentally, he still owns a copy of this poster in his private collection.
After completing his studies in French literature, he embarks on a frantic quest for vintage posters. Although he sold some of his initial finds at the Geneva flea market, Jean-Daniel Clerc quickly understands the importance of this vanishing heritage. From then on, he relentlessly pursues his work of preserving and promoting vintage posters. He opens the Galerie 1 2 3 in 1983, meets with a number of pioneering collectors and the first dealers in Paris and New York, publishes specialised books, notably on winter sports posters, and collaborates on numerous exhibitions in Switzerland, the United States, Singapore and London.
In 1993, together with Robert Garvin, he sets up a workshop for the conservation and restoration of vintage posters in the centre of Geneva, developing over the years a unique know-how in the preservation of works on paper.
In 1996, Jean-Daniel Clerc takes part in the foundation of the IVPDA (International Vintage Poster Dealers Association), the umbrella association of original vintage posters dealers, of which he was one of the vice-presidents for several years, as well as an active expert on the authentication committee.
With his unique skills, Jean-Daniel Clerc is regularly called upon as an expert by important heritage preservation institutions, such as museums, libraries and archives, but also by art fairs, businesses and insurance companies.
After more than 40 years of passion and challenges, Jean-Daniel Clerc still feels a great pride in participating in the rescue of a historical and artistic heritage that magnificently illustrates the last 150 years.
Master in General Linguistic and French litterature.
Founder and Director of Galerie 1 2 3.
Collector and dealer established since 1977.
Writer and historian on vintage poster.
Founding member of the International Vintage Poster Dealer Association.
Member of the Authenticity committee and ex vice president of the IVPDA.
Expert for insurances and Swiss Courts.
Communications manager - Art historian MA.
Graduated from Sotheby's Institute of Art (London) and IESA (Paris). Collaborates internationally with numerous auction houses and art dealers.
Also works as drama director, actress and interior designer.
Head of the Studio for conservation and restoration of vintage posters.
Artist, painter. Graduated in Fine Art and Art History from Winchester School of Art and Southampton University, UK, 1988.
Journalist, co-author of the book "Affiches et Chemin de Fer, un duo inséparable".
In charge of the poster catalogue and the visual identity of the gallery.
Graphic designer, story writer and comic book author.
In charge of the inventory for the Photo123.ch website. "Jazz and musicians" expert of the gallery.
Cameraman and photographer, passionate jazz enthusiast, member of the committee of the "Jazz sous les étoiles" festival in St-Luc, Valais.
The poster collection of Galerie 1 2 3
JD Clerc's private collection
Photo123's collection of photographs
Over the years, Galerie 1 2 3 has built up two distinct collections. On the one hand, the Jean-Daniel Clerc Collection, which remains private to this day; on the other hand, the Galerie 1 2 3 Collection, which is available for sale. Both collections underline the cultural, historical and artistic importance of vintage posters.
While the Jean-Daniel Clerc Collection, intended as a heritage collection, works primarily to preserve historical posters from Switzerland and Geneva, the Galerie 1 2 3 Collection brings together the finest tourism and advertising posters from around the world, from the end of the 19th century to the present day. It features an extraordinary graphic variety, reflecting the evolution of products, activities and customs over the last 150 years: tourism, travel and transport, winter sports, but also brands and consumer products, drinks, food, cars, cycles and motorbikes, political campaigns and much more.
The Galerie 1 2 3 Collection highlights the Swiss school of graphic design, to which poster art owes so many innovations, including photomontage, Hyperrealism (Sachplakat) and the International Swiss Style (The Swiss Grid). The corpus of Swiss posters in the Galerie 1 2 3 Collection is without doubt one of the most important in the world.
Enamel plates, advertising objects and cartons, lithographed boxes, suitcase labels and scale models of airliners complete the Galerie 1 2 3 Collection's offer.
Regularly updated and enriched, the gallery's website (www.galerie123.com) currently contains some 14’000 photos of vintage posters. It is a worldwide reference for historians, graphic designers and collectors alike, and has been selected to be digitally preserved by the Web Archive Switzerland of the Swiss National Library.
In addition to its vast corpus of digital photos, Galerie 1 2 3 also has 10’000 other non-digitised photos of vintage posters on silver paper in its archives. Through this photographic reference material, the gallery contributes to the iconography of numerous publications (books, newspapers, magazines, etc.) by making images available.
Last but not least, the Photo123 collection was created when Jean-Daniel Clerc purchased part of the studio archives of the Geneva-based photographer Dany Gignoux, who specialised in music, particularly jazz, and reportage.
This collection, with several thousand original photographs, has been available since the beginning of 2022 on the Photo123.ch website. It covers fields as varied as music, the mountains and tourism, in period prints and proofs.