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John Steen

(Jacob Henri Berend)

(b Amersfoort, Oct 24, 1897; d Amsterdam, April 2, 1984).

Dutch museum official, writer, painter and typographer. He studied briefly in 1919 at the Rijksacademie, Amsterdam. Among his friends was Herman Gorter (1864–1927), Dutch poet and founder of the Dutch Communist Party. Between 1922 and 1926 he was involved with the Mazdaznan movement, meeting Johannes Itten in the Mazdaznan centre of Herrliberg, Switzerland. After visiting Piet Mondrian in Paris in 1923 he decided to become an independent artist. In 1927 he studied pictograms with museum director Otto Neurath in Vienna, where he also took classes in psychology from Alfred Adler (1870–1937) and Karl Bühler (1879–1963). In the same year he visited the Bauhaus.

In 1928 Sandberg was given his first typographic commissions by the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam. Between 1930 and 1935 he read psychology at the University of Utrecht. From 1934 he organized exhibitions regularly for the Stedelijk Museum: Moholy-Nagy (1934), De Stoel...

Article

Jeremy Howard

(Alekseyevich)

(b Nikolayevka, nr Putivl’, Kursk Prov. [now Ukraine], June 13, 1891; d Moscow, June 30, 1978).

. Russian art historian and collector. The foremost Soviet historian of graphic art and a specialist in modern Russian book design, he also studied Western European art from the Renaissance to the 20th century. He was an art history graduate of Moscow University, where he subsequently became a professor (1921), and his first book, indicative of his early interest in Symbolism, was an analysis of Aubrey Beardsley’s art and aesthetics, while his second, the first Soviet book on the subject, examined the relationship of the arts to revolution. Subsequently, as head of the engravings department of the Museum of Fine Arts (now the Pushkin Museum) in Moscow (1927–36) and as one of the founders of the conservative Association of Artists of Revolutionary Russia (AKhRR), Sidorov aligned himself with the right wing of Soviet cultural ideology. In this respect, despite his presiding concern with the synthetic qualities of word and image in book design, he frequently turned his attention to the social background of the creative work in question. The author of around 200 publications, Sidorov’s prolific output was extremely diverse; it includes a series of monographs on artists from Leonardo and Dürer to Käthe Kollwitz, Yelizaveta Kruglikova and Boris Korolyov, articles on Moscow art collections, modern dance and, most significantly, in-depth studies of the history of the Russian book. He was also a leading Soviet collector of graphic art, with almost 10,000 Russian, Soviet and Western European works, now in the ...