The posters being exhibited are selected from a personal collection of over 150 AIDS awareness posters donated to Kenneth Spencer Research Library by Rich Crank. Every continent is represented in the collection except Antarctica and the posters’ origins range from the U.S. to China, from England to Brazil, from Australia to Uganda. The posters were collected over a 15 year period starting in 1994, when the first exhibit of Past the Compass: Posters in the AIDS crisis commemorated World AIDS Day that year.
Every exhibition of these posters has been dedicated to the memory of Bent Hanlon, who died of AIDS in 1992.
Perhaps the most striking aspect of the collection as a whole is the variation in presentation. Some are poignant, others humorous. Some use text only, most are combination of text and visual images. Some are simple and monochrome, others complex and vibrant with color. Some are overtly sexual, others minimize sexuality or avoid reference it to altogether. Possibly most important in terms of the messages, some seek to prevent or reduce further transmission of HIV while others offer information and messages of support for people with HIV/AIDS. The possibilities for research using the collection are equally varied.
Acquisitions/Serials, Watson Library