The Art Deco Posters of Cassandre, Part One

 Cassandre: The Face of Art Deco Posters and Fonts One of the major artists to emerge at the International Exposition of Decorative and Industrial Arts in 1925 was the man who won the first prize for his graphic design, an artist known as “Cassandre.” The significance...

The Fate of Fonts, Part Seven

 The Fate of Fonts Typography and Danger in Germany, Part Three In the history of the Nazification of all things “German,” the suppression of the modern fonts might be a footnote to the destruction of modern art if it is mentioned at all. However, as was...

The Fate of Fonts, Part Six

The Fate of Fonts Typography and Danger in Germany, Part One One of the heroes of the modern font was Paul Renner (1878-1956), a founding member of the Deutsche Werkbund when it was established in 1907. In many ways, he was temperamentally conservative, not a...

The Fate of Fonts, Part Five

The Fate of Fonts Typography and Danger in Germany The debate about the appropriate typeface was not a new one in Germany. Introduced to the printing press as a substitute for handwritten Medieval manuscripts in the fifteenth century, the fraktur or Gothic script,...

The Fate of Fonts, Part Four

History of French Fonts, Part Two Cassandre and the Fonts of Art Déco A. M. Cassandre, as the artist sometimes signed himself, was also known more simply as “Cassandre.” Adolphe Jean-Marie Mouron (1901-1968) burst on the Parisian scene as Cassandre with a...

The Fate of Fonts, Part Three

History of French Fonts, Part One Cassandre and Deberny et Peignot When an artist heaped with honors in his lifetime, including the being promoted an officer of the French Legion of Honor, ends his career with suicide that is a terrible tragedy and a great loss to the...

The Fate of Fonts, Part Two

The Fate of Fonts Typography in the 1920s,  Part Two Printing and its old-fashioned fonts had long been viewed as problematic, and, in the nineteenth century, the English designer, William Morris, set out to revive what had once been an art form with the famous...

The Fate of Fonts, Part One

The Fate of Fonts Typography in the 1920s,  Part One Until the 1920s, a printer’s font was selected and combined into words with the intention that the words were going to be read. This assertion may seem axiomatic at first, but, in the modern era, fonts were...

Art Deco as Product Design

Defining Art Deco as Consumerism The Artist and Product Design In the spring of 1925, the city of Paris hosted the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes (International Exposition of Decorative Arts and Modern Industries), which was a...

Le Corbusier: Purism as Architecture

The Pavillion de l’Esprit Nouveau (1925) The House as a Machine Although the Pavillion de l’Esprit Nouveau met the fate of all exhibition buildings—it was demolished in 1926—the famous dwelling was rebuilt in Bologna Italy in 1977 by the architectural firm Oubrerie e...

Le Corbusier at the Paris Fair, 1925

Le Corbusier (1887-1965) From Purism as Painting to Purism as Architecture To use the term “Art Deco” today is to introduce an anachronism, because to the extent that the style of this period had a name at all it was “Art Moderne,” a name used in the 1920s and 1930s....

Art Deco in Post-War Paris

Defining Art Deco The Meaning of “Moderne” One should always beware of long titles, too many words usually conceal or reveal inner contradictions. Take, for example, the 1925 Paris International Exposition, the name of which is long and self-defeating:...

Constructivism on Display, Part Two

The Brief Existence of Constructivism At the Paris Fair of 1925 The International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts was “international,” stressing the nationalism of the post-war  period, but the French, the host nation, proved to be...

Constructivism on Display, Part One

The Brief Existence of Constructivism The Years of Lenin The word “Constructivism” was a Russian word that came from multiple sources in Russia and spread to Western Europe very quickly, as soon as the Civil War ended in 1921. In fact, the slogan of the 1920 Dada Fair...

Producing Soviet Culture

Producing Soviet Culture Popova and Stepanova The study of modern art and design is noteworthy for its lack of women included in the history. That is not to say that there were no women who were artists—to the contrary, there were numerous women who braved the odds...

The End of the Russian Avant-Garde

Gustav Klutsis (1895-1938) The Last of the Avant-Garde Alexander Rodchenko and Varvara Stepanova were lucky to live out their lives peacefully. In the brutal period of Stalin’s Russia, artists were suppressed. Starting in the late 1920s, the mood of the government...

If you have found this material useful, please give credit to Dr. Jeanne S. M. Willette and Art History Unstuffed.
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