Mucha was an immensely successful commercial illustrator and would regularly get requests for work as he travelled around. He chose to head from his base in Paris to the US in 1909 and agreed to put together this poster in order to promote a one-off performance of Friedrich Schiller's The Maid of Orleans which was due to take place at the Harvard University Stadium of that same year. The artist delivered the very same style of work that he had been producing for over a decade and this was proving commercially successful to him, with seemingly endless supplies of commissions as he continued to widen his list of enthusiastic patrons. He chose to also include a frame with the piece, which was customised to the artwork.
This delightful artwork can be found within a beautifully crafted frame which perfectly matches the Art Nouveau era. It is owned and on display at the The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, USA. It is listed as having been gifted to the institution by A. J. Kobler just over a decade after the artist had completed the piece. Many of the Met's collection has been acquired in this manner, as hundreds of collectors choose to donate parts of their collection in order to benefit others as well as sometimes to achieve some sort of political capital themselves. There have been examples where individuals have used some artworks in their possession to pay outstanding taxes, though in most cases the intention is merely to allow others to see these items in person.
The inscription at the foot of the design reads out the title of the piece, "Maude Adams as Joan of Arc", and the US more generally at this time was starting to become more and more interested in cultural pursuits, with a heavy influence from Europe at that time. Rising wealth would allow their citizens to enjoy leisure time and also invest in new interests. The Metropolitan Museum of Art was able to therefore acquire this piece just eleven years after Mucha had completed it and help to widen the impact of the Modernist artists. By this stage the movement was strong in a number of countries, and in moving around Mucha helped to encourage other artists to work in a similar way.