ARTISTS’ SPOTLIGHT: THE WORK OF BOOK AND GRAPHIC DESIGNER, BILL BRADLEY
Friday afternoon found the main reading room of our rare book and special collections library crowded with FIU faculty, all of them recipients of our Mellon curriculum development grant. David Rifkind was here from FIU’s School of Architecture to see some materials related to the representation of Italy’s colonies in international expositions of the 1920s, ‘30s, and 40s, while his colleague Ebru Ozer, had come to see some books related to unrealized architectural projects and landscape design.
FIU Associate Professor Tori Arpad-Cotta, who regularly brings her Art Installation classes to the library for inspiration, was also here this Friday preparing for her studio classes centered around pottery design.
PORTFOLIO PLATE FROM ORIENTAL CERAMIC ART, GIFT OF RICHARD SCHICK
Even as our Mellon intern, Michel Potop was busy paging items for our local FIU faculty, I made time to attend to another visiting scholar, June Knopf. Before flying back home to New Jersey, Mrs. Knopf and her husband came down from Delray Beach to see the Wolfsonian’s exhibition of British subway posters, and stopped off in the library to find out what we might have in the library relating to her recently completed dissertation topic. Mrs. Knopf was primarily focused on American magazine cover art of the 1910s and tangentially interested in the crossover between magazine cover and poster designs of the period. The library has large runs of important periodicals dealing with art, architecture, and design from the period 1851 to 1945, but is especially strong in its holdings of European titles. We do, of course, also hold some important American periodicals as well, including a number of serials and magazine cover clippings designed by one of the country’s preeminent graphic designers and champion of American Art Nouveau, William (Bill) Bradley (1868-1962).
The Wolfsonian library holds a substantial collection of rare books, periodicals, and ephemera produced by this most prolific artist over the course of his long life. Bradley’s artwork graced the pages of many of the most popular periodicals of the era, including The Century, Collier’s Illustrated Weekly, Harper’s Bazar, The Inland Printer, and of course, The American Chap-Book, and Bradley, His Book.
Bradley also created a significant body of commercial artwork, and his designs for small format posters and advertisements for the Ault Wiborg printing company have achieved lasting recognition.
Our visitor was pleasantly surprised to discover the richness of our holdings on the topic, and we hope that this will be the first of many future visits as a post-doctorate scholar.