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.

~ by "The Chief" on August 13, 2011.

3 Responses to “ARTISTS’ SPOTLIGHT: THE WORK OF BOOK AND GRAPHIC DESIGNER, BILL BRADLEY”

  1. El juego de palabra e imagen esta muy bien logrado. Ademas de interesante, entretenido. Mil gracias al autor de estos blogs.

  2. Hello I edited AMERICAN PRINTER for the past 10 years.

    From 1890 to 1940, INLAND PRINTER was a key player in one of the greatest eras of American illustration. “Many important designers were commissioned to do covers, including Will Bradley and Frederic Goudy,” says RIT’s David Pankow. “The magazine featured many fascinating typographic inserts provided by the industry, as well as excellent articles by authorities in the graphics arts. The practice of tipping in inserts must have been tremendously expensive, because it began to tail off in the 1930s and issues thereafter tended to concentrate more on technical and trade developments.”

    In 1894, artist Will Bradley (1868-1962) and INLAND PRINTER editor A.H. McQuilkin came up with a dramatic cover concept. Rather than a permanent cover design, why not have a fresh cover for every issue? It was Bradley who suggested the idea and McQuilkin who secured the approval of the publisher, Henry O. Shepard. (McQuilkin originally rejected Bradely’s plan as too expensive — Bradley’s responded with a bargain price for a series of covers.)

    Patricia Franz Kery, author of “Great Magazine Covers of the World” (Abbeville, 1982), credits INLAND PRINTER as “the first American magazine to change its cover with every issue — commonplace today but a revolutionary move then.”

    Inspired by William Morris as well as Aubrey Beardsley, Bradley’s work helped usher in Art Nouveau to the United States. “Bradley used Beardsley’s style as a stepping stone to fresh graphic technique and visual unity of type and image,” writes Phillip B. Meggs in “A History of Graphic Design,” (John Wiley & Sons, 1998). “He made innovative use of photomechanical techniques to produce repeated, overlapping and reversed images.”

    J. C. Leyendecker, creator of the Arrow Collar man, and Alphonse Mucha, a leading Art Nouveau figure, are among the famous illustrators represented in INLAND PRINTER’s archives. Many covers were contributed by less celebrated but equally inventive artists, including the 1933 covers, which featured reader-contributed art in honor of the magazine’s 50th anniversary.

  3. Adding a footnote…

    Published under the auspices of Henry O. Shepard’s printing company, INLAND PRINTER debuted in October 1883. A few years later, Shepard created the Inland Printer Co. to keep his printing plant and publishing activities separate. In addition to publishing the magazine, the Inland Printer Co. produced technical books for the trade and operated the Inland Printer Technical School.

    Reeling from the Great Depression, the Inland Printer Co. sold the magazine to Tradepress Publishing Corp. in 1941. In 1945, Maclean-Hunter Publishing Corp. acquired INLAND PRINTER. In November 1958, Maclean Hunter acquired a New York-based publication, originally called THE AMERICAN PRINTER. In deference to the rapid growth of the offset lithographic industry, the magazine had changed its name to THE AMERICAN LITHOGRAPHER. The combined Maclean Hunter publications became THE INLAND and AMERICAN PRINTER AND LITHOGRAPHER.

    In 1961, the magazine was renamed INLAND PRINTER/AMERICAN LITHOGRAPHER. Several other variations ensued. In January 1979, the title changed to AMERICAN PRINTER AND LITHOGRAPHER and was subsequently shortened to AMERICAN PRINTER in January 1982.

    As of September 2011, AMERICAN PRINTER ceased publication.

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