1-10 of 10 Results  for:

  • Graphic Design and Typography x
  • Industrial and Commercial Art x
  • Twentieth-Century Art x
  • American Art x
Clear all

Article

Bayer, Herbert  

Monica Bohm-Duchen

(b Haag, Austria, April 5, 1900; d Santa Barbara, CA, Sept 30, 1985).

American painter, designer, photographer and typographer, of Austrian birth. After serving in the Austrian army (1917–18), Bayer studied architecture under Professor Schmidthammer in Linz in 1919 and in 1920 worked with the architect Emanuel Margold in Darmstadt. From 1921 to 1923 he attended the Bauhaus in Weimar, studying mural painting (with Vasily Kandinsky) and typography; it was at this time that he created the Universal alphabet, consisting only of lowercase letters. In 1925 he returned to the Bauhaus, then in Dessau, as a teacher of advertising, layout and typography, remaining there until 1928. For the next ten years he was based in Berlin as a commercial artist: he worked as art manager of Vogue (1929–30) and as director of the Dorland advertising agency. Shortly after his first one-man exhibitions at the Galerie Povolotski, Paris, and at the Kunstlerbund März, Linz (both 1929), he created photomontages of a Surrealist nature, such as ...

Article

Bel Geddes, Norman  

Arthur J. Pulos

(b Adrian, MI, April 27, 1893; d New York, May 9, 1958).

American designer and writer. He studied at the Cleveland School of Art, OH, and the Art Institute of Chicago, and by 1914 he had established a reputation as an illustrator, making portraits of operatic luminaries for the New York Times. After producing plays in Los Angeles (1917), he joined the Metropolitan Opera in New York (1918) and became a leading stage designer; he invented the high-wattage spotlight and developed modern theatrical productions that blended the play, its lighting, its performers, and their costumes into a cohesive whole. He gained international attention for his stage set (1921; unexecuted) for Dante’s Divine Comedy, which revolutionized theatrical and operatic productions; it was conceived as a single, massive set with lighting coming first from below, signifying Hades, and then, as the play progressed, from high above, signifying Paradise. This led Max Reinhardt, the distinguished German producer, to commission him to design the settings for a production of ...

Article

Deskey, Donald  

revised by Margaret Barlow

(b Blue Earth, MN, Nov 23, 1894; d Vero Beach, FL, April 20, 1989).

American interior and industrial designer. Deskey gained a degree in architecture and studied painting before working in advertising. From 1922 to 1924 he was head of the art department at Juniata College, Huntingdon, PA. In 1921 and 1925 he made trips to Paris, where he attended the Ecole de la Grande Chaumière and the Académie Colarossi, before returning to New York in 1926 as a champion of modern art and design. In 1926–7 he created the city’s first modern window displays for the Franklin Simon and Saks Fifth Avenue department stores. In 1927 he was joined by the designer Philip Vollmer, and the partnership became Deskey–Vollmer, Inc. (to c. 1929). Deskey expanded into designing interiors, furniture, lamps, and textiles, becoming a pioneer of the Style moderne (as Art Deco was known in America). His earliest model for the interior of an apartment was shown at the American Designers’ Gallery, New York, in ...

Article

Faulconer, Mary  

Aaris Sherin

(b Pittsburgh, PA, 1912).

American graphic designer, illustrator and painter. A student of Alexey Brodovitch, she graduated from the Philadelphia Museum of Industrial Arts and went off to assist Brodovitch as instructor at the Design Laboratory (1935–8). She was art director for Mademoiselle Magazine (1944), Harper’s Bazaar (1940, 1946), Seventeen and House & Garden (both 1949). Her freelance credits included Fortune, House & Garden, Life, Look, Seventeen, Town & Country and Vogue magazines. A successful designer and art director, the early part of her career was spent as a commercial artist. Later she turned primarily to illustration and fine art; areas where she completed the bulk of her life’s work. Today she is known for her small paintings, which are widely collected.

Falconer’s paintings are small landscapes and still-lifes that provide intimate vignettes of somewhat pedestrian subjects. The work has commonalities with folk-art, Surrealism and realism without falling into any one genre. She always approached her subject head on, depicting the commonplace in scenes including spice jars, flowers, boats, building facades and interiors. Her rendition of three pansies is given equal attention as her depiction of the more visually complex river boat houses in New Orleans. Regardless of content, she gives personality to her subjects with precision and a combination of softness and detail that reminds one of early American primitivism, without seeming either stiff or rigid. She designed six stamps for the US Postal Service including the Rose Stamp booklet (...

Article

Pineles, Cipe  

Aaris Sherin

(b Vienna, June 23, 1908; d New York, Jan 3, 1991).

American graphic designer of Austrian birth. After studying at Pratt Institute in New York (1926–9), she worked as a designer for Contempora (1930–32), an industrial design firm founded by European émigrés. When her work was noticed by Vogue magazine publisher Condé Nast, she was offered a job as assistant to art director M. F. Agha (1932–8). In subsequent years she was art director of Glamour (1941–6), Seventeen (1947–50) and other Condé Nast publications. For nine years (1950–59), she was art director of Charm magazine, where she worked with editor Helen Valentine and marketing director Estelle Ellis to produce a magazine addressed to working women. As a publication designer she pioneered a style of page layout that had the cleanness and restraint of European modernism, yet also encouraged a playful approach to typography and illustration. Leaving editorial design in the 1960s, she served as the first art director for the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, where she was responsible for creating a unified identity system for the organization’s promotional materials....

Article

Preissig, Vojtěch  

Hana Myslivečková

(b Světec u Bíliny, July 31, 1873; d Dachau, June 11, 1944).

Czech printmaker, designer, illustrator, painter, and teacher, active also in the USA. From 1892 he studied at the School of Applied Industrial Art in Prague (in Friedrich Ohmann’s Decorative Architecture workshop). In 1897 he left for Paris, where in 1898 he worked for Alphonse Mucha, familiarized himself with graphic techniques, worked in applied graphics, and experimented with lettering and design, and photography. His early, Secessionist, work was influenced by Japanese art and Symbolism. After his return to Prague in 1903 he devoted himself to illustration, publishing an album, Coloured Etchings in the Graphic Art Atelier at Vinohrady, Prague (New York, 1906), and the book Barevný lept a barevná rytina [Coloured etching and coloured engraving], and founding the periodical Česká grafika. Preissig lived in the USA from 1910, gaining a reputation as an innovator in the field of book and advertising graphic design, typography, and illustration, in which fields he introduced the linocut and other special graphic techniques. He taught at art schools in New York, and from ...

Article

Rohde, Gilbert  

John F. Pile

(b New York, 1894; d New York, June 16, 1944).

American industrial designer. He learnt cabinetmaking in his father’s shop in the Bronx, New York, and then worked as an illustrator of furniture for several New York retail shops. In 1927 he made a trip to Paris and there saw examples of the modernism known subsequently as Art Deco. On his return to America he undertook freelance interior design projects and made custom-built modern furniture for private clients (e.g. end table, c. 1927–9; Rohde family priv. col., see 1981 exh. cat., fig.). In 1929 he opened a design office in New York, concentrating on interior design and developing furniture in the early modernist style. In 1930 he established a relationship with Herman Miller Inc. of Zeeland, MI, a firm that had previously made products imitating various traditional styles. Rohde convinced the firm of the superiority of the ideas of modernism at a time when this direction was virtually unknown in the USA; he developed an extensive line of furniture that combined functional ideas and simplicity of form with decorative details that were characteristically ‘modernistic’. Exotic woods, glass, mirrors and polished metals were used in groups of furniture that were modular or sectional in concept (e.g. dressing-table, ...

Article

Shinn, Everett  

Janet Marstine

(b Woodstown, NJ, Nov 6, 1876; d New York, May 1, 1953).

American painter, illustrator, designer, playwright, and film director. He studied industrial design at the Spring Garden School in Philadelphia from 1888 to 1890. In 1893 he became an illustrator at the Philadelphia Press. Simultaneously he attended the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, where he met Robert Henri, John Sloan, William J. Glackens, and George Luks. Their style of urban realism prompted him to depict the bleak aspects of city life. In 1897 Shinn moved to New York and produced illustrations for several newspapers and magazines, for example Mark Twain (March 1900; see Perlman, p. 80), a frontispiece for The Critic. He also drew sketches for a novel by William Dean Howells on New York; although the novel was not published, Shinn’s drawings brought him national recognition.

Shinn’s work changed radically when, on a trip to Paris in 1901, he was inspired by the theatre scenes of Manet, Degas, and Jean-Louis Forain. He began to paint performers in action, from unusual vantage points, as in ...

Article

Vignelli family  

Margaret Barlow

Italian designers, active in the USA. Massimo Vignelli (b Milan, 10 Jan 1931; d New York, 27 May 2014) attended the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera, Milan (1948–50); the Politecnico, Milan (1950–53); and the School of Architecture, University of Venice (1953–7). He chiefly worked on product and graphic design and corporate identity programmes. In the mid-1950s, while still a student, he designed a series of lighting fixtures for the Venini S.p.A. of Murano, most notably the ‘Fungo’ table lamp (1955; e.g. New York, Cooper-Hewitt Mus.), an original concept in striped glass in which the swelling lampshade and conical base form an integrated unit.

Between 1957 and 1960 he travelled and studied in the USA. In 1957 he married Lella [Elena] Vignelli [née Valle] (b Udine, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, 1936). She studied at the School of Architecture, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge (...

Article

Wilson, Ellis  

Margaret Rose Vendryes

(b Mayfield, KY, April 30, 1899; d New York, NY, Jan 1, 1977).

American painter. Wilson worked as graphic artist in Chicago for five years after completing the four-year commercial art program at the Art Institute of Chicago School in 1923. He became an adept colorist with a particular interest in still life composition. Wilson hoped to grow as a painter after moving to Harlem, New York in 1928 where he worked odd jobs for wages. Three years later, he permanently relocated to Greenwich Village. He exhibited with the Harmon Foundation, at the Detroit Museum, the Contemporary Arts and Roko Galleries in New York City, and at most of the large historically black universities and colleges. Wilson socialized with important members of the New Negro arts movement such as Aaron Douglas and Jacob Lawrence whose abbreviated figurative works tempered his academic realist style ( see New Negro Movement ). His skill with linear gestures, affinity with nature, and ability to strike a coherent balance between them identify this best work. With two years of Guggenheim fellowships, he spent time with the African Americans living on South Carolina’s Sea Islands in ...