Comments/questions/links related to SHAG or our Agendas are welcome.

The Visual Arts Data Service (VADS) is pleased to announce that a stunning collection of posters by Tom Eckersley has been digitized and is now available online at

Eckersley is one of the foremost poster designers and graphic communicators of the last century. He used bold simple designs, often resembling collage, and the collection reflects the range of his work from propaganda posters to his post-war posters. The collection was formed by Eckersley and is held at the University of the Arts London Archives and Special Collections Centre.

Eckersley's bold, graphic statements coupled with memorable slogans and unique use of colour, were seen promoting some of the most iconic of British institutions such as London Transport, General Post Office, The Ministry of Information and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA). Eckersley was also a teacher of poster arts and established the first graphic design course in Britain at the London School/College of Printing (now College of Communication, part of University of the Arts London).

Over 100 posters are now available online from this unique archive and further images will be launched on VADS in the coming months.

The collection complements other resources on such as the Imperial War Museum's poster collection which includes works by Eckersley and his contemporaries such as F H K Henrion and Abram Games.

For more information about the Eckersley Archive, see

July 8, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKathy Cowan

We very much enjoyed the presentation by Doug Frost on Maryland Institute & the Evolution of Art Instruction in America at the April meeting of SHAG. As promised I am posting the URL for our page on D.A. Woodward, Photographic Educator and Inventor and his time at the Maryland Institute (1852 - c. 1879).


April 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBeverly Wilgus

(Keynote address delivered by Milton Glaser at "Where the Truth Lies: A Symposium on Propaganda Today," February 15, 2008, New York. Symposium presented by School of Visual Arts in cooperation with the PhD Programs in History and Sociology of The Graduate Center, CUNY.)

Some years ago, I was in Fez, Morrocco, with my wife Shirley. We had hired a guide and were being escorted through the Medina, the ancient part of the city that had 160,000 inhabitants and no telephones (although our guide assured us that he could reach anyone in the old city within two hours by word of mouth). We stopped momentarily to look into a courtyard through an open door where about fifty boys between the ages of four and five were seated on the ground reading out loud. “How long will these boys be at school?” I asked our guide. “Generally, two years. After that, almost all of them will go to work. “What do they study?” I asked. “The Koran.” “Nothing else?” “No.”

The memory of that scene and conversation has haunted me for over twenty-five years. These poor boys would never be able to question their own beliefs and could never understand how those beliefs had been systematically pounded into their brains. Every culture has its own way of indoctrinating its citizenry. In our culture, this indoctrination occurs through the use of advertising, television, schooling and the way news is reported. Because this indoctrination is so difficult to identify, it becomes essential to question all the beliefs we cherish most.

We live in an ocean of persuasion most of it unrelenting and invisible. I once described making a low-calorie Greek salad for my wife and myself on a warm spring day in the country. After I chopped the tomatoes, onions, peppers and cucumber, I found a package of French feta cheese in the refrigerator, which I crumbled into the bowl. I glanced at the back of the package. It read: 70 calories per serving. Below that, in smaller type, it read: number of servings per package — 7. I had just added 500 calories to our modest lunch.

How does a tablespoon of feta become a serving? Everyone here today knows exactly how this happens. It’s so trivial, so banal it hardly seems worth mentioning. Of course, I should have paid attention and read the label before I dumped the feta into the salad. Multiply this trivial event a million times and you begin to understand today’s constant and relentless subversion of what is real.

As someone involved in the communication business, I often find myself confused by whether I am an agent of propaganda. The most obvious examples of my own interest in persuasion are a series of buttons I’ve created for The Nation—the magazine, not the country.

A while ago, I was looking for a definition of art’s purpose. I came across one that I liked; in fact, I liked it so much that I used it for the title of a film that was made about my work. It’s from Horace, the Roman philosopher and critic, who wrote, “The purpose of art is to inform and delight.” I’ve been thinking about the purpose of art all my life and Horace helped me to arrive at an understanding. Art is a survival mechanism for the human species. Otherwise, it never would have lasted so long.

But how does it work? How does it affect us? Primarily, it makes us attentive to the reality of our own life. The first cave paintings made its viewers attentive to the spirit and character of the animals their lives depended on. Sixteen thousand years later, Guernica made us conscious of how cruel the death of the innocent could be. Picasso and Cezanne help us understand that things can be looked at from several points of view at the same time. When we pass a landscape and think of how much it resembles a Cezanne painting, we become aware that Cezanne has made us attentive to how we see a landscape. Picasso and Seurat anticipated and illuminated the science of the 19th century, demonstrating that a landscape is an accumulation of color fragments and spaces. Art may be the only truth we can ever know.

The experience of art can be considered a form of meditation. By suppressing the debris of everyday life and the illusion that desire creates, meditation enables us to observe without judging. In this way, what is real to us becomes visible.

Recollecting Horace’s description of art’s purpose, he said, “To inform and delight” not, “to persuade and delight.” Informing us makes us stronger. Persuading us robs us of our ability to observe things for ourselves. Propaganda cannot be described without its link to persuasion.

Propaganda is not necessarily a lie, but it affects our neurological system and brain in the same way. It undermines our ability to understand our own reality. It makes us more infantile and dependent. It substitutes an alien authority for our own perception.

Not all belief is culturally manufactured. A large part of what we believe seems to come from a universal moral code that is genetically programmed in every human being. They are:
1. Doing no harm to others
2. Fairness
3. Loyalty and shared solidarity with your group
4. Respect for authority
5. Fear of contamination or the celebration of purity

Every society and political system emphasizes the parts of this moral construct to serve its own needs. My moral indignation and anti-adminstration activity may, in fact, derive more from fear of authority than any other motivation. Those on the right don’t have trouble with authority but are driven up the wall by such issues as same-sex marriage, which is a contamination issue. On the other hand, my parents, who were anything but right-wingers, were horrified when I told them I had eaten a clam.

Propaganda not only inhibits our sense of reality, it frequently causes us to act against our own interests. It does this by affecting the primitive parts of the brain that are unaffected by logic or consciousness but respond to images and symbols.

The short recent history of the Bush administration has demonstrated this principle. By using fear and endless repetition, the government has subverted our mythology and character and it has processed the American people into accepting a dramatic erosion of our civil rights and, perhaps most appallingly, to approve of torture. Sadly, the phenomenon is scarcely unique. In fact, it may be the inevitable narrative of human civilization. The intersection of fear and persuasion has created the world as we know it.

The mind’s ability to alter itself is the source of human freedom. Information expands the capacity of the mind to change. Persuasion limits that capacity. Beliefs must be held lightly, because certainty is frequently the enemy of truth. Or, put another way, to free ourselves from the insidious grip of propaganda, we can follow the example of the scientist and psychologist William James, who was said to have loved questions more than answers.

April 7, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJoe Sullivan

Here is the Bibliography for the February 21, 2008 presentation by Kathy Cowan: Social Content in the Applied Arts

America’s Printed and Painted Fabrics by Florence H. Pettit
New York: Hastings House, 1970.

Art Into Production: Soviet Textiles, Fashion and Ceramics 1917-1935
Oxford, UK: Museum of Modern Art Oxford; Crafts Council of England and Wales, 1984.

British Pottery and Porcelain 1780-1850 by Geoffrey A. Godden
Cranbury, NJ: A.S. Barnes and Co., 1963.

Celebration and Remembrance: Commemorative Textiles in America 1790-1990
North Andover, MA: Museum of American Textile History, 1990.

Ceramics Ethics & Scandal: Stories of Social Life in 18th-Century England as Context for the Sharp Collection of Pottery and Porcelain by Rosalie Wise Sharp
Toronto: RWD Books, 2002

Chess: East and West, Past and Present: A Selection from the Gustavus A. Pfeiffer Collection
New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1968.

Chinese Textiles by Verity Wilson
London: V & A Publications, 2005.

Coverlets: A Handbook on the Collection of Woven Coverlets in the Art Institute of Chicago by Mildred Davison and Christa C. Mayer-Thurman
Chicago, IL: The Art Institute of Chicago, 1973.

French Porcelain by Hubert Landais
New York: G.P.Putnam’s Sons, 1961.

German and Austrian Porcelain by George W. Ware
New York: Bonanza Books, 1964.

The Imagery of Chess Revisited edited by Larry List
New York: The Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum; George Braziller, 2005.

In Praise of Heroes: Contemporary African Commemorative Cloth by Anne M. Spencer
Newark, NJ: Newark Museum, c1982.

Italian Porcelain by Francesco Stazzi
New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1964.

The Journal of Decorative and Propaganda Arts
Miami, FL: Wolfson Foundation of Decorative and Propaganda Arts, c1986- .

Naval Ceramics by P.D. Gordon Pugh and Margery Pugh
Newport, UK: Ceramic Book Company, 1971.

News from a Radiant Future: Soviet Porcelain from the Collection of Craig H. and Kay A. Tuber by Ian Wardropper et al.
Chicago, IL: Art Institute of Chicago, c1992.

Pottery, Politics, Art: George Ohr and the Brothers Kirkpatrick by Richard D. Mohr
Urbana and Chicago, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2003.

Remembering the Future: The New York World’s Fair from 1939 to 1964
The Queens Museum
New York: Rizzoli, 1989.

Russian Porcelains by Marvin C. Ross
Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 1968.

Soviet Textiles: Designing the Modern Utopia: Selected from the Lloyd Cotsen Collection by Pamela Jill Kachurin
Boston: MFA Publications; New York: Distributed Art Publishers, c2006.

Wearing Propaganda: Textiles on the Home Front in Japan, Britain, and the United States, 1931-1945 by John W. Dower, et al. Edited by Jacqueline M. Atkins
New Haven, CT and London: Yale University Press for the Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, Design, and Culture, 2005

Wedgwood: A Collector’s Guide by Peter Williams
Radnor, PA: Wallace-Homestead Book Company, 1992

March 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKathy Cowan

From Steve Heller:
"You might be intereseted in this:
and this:
if you check out
you'll find various articles that might be relevant to your interests."

February 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJoe Sullivan

The following sources were referenced in preparing the 1/21/08 presentation about Seymour Chwast:

>> BOOKS <<

Witty thinking in graphic design
Beryl McAlhone and David Stuart
© 1998 Beryl McAlhone & David Stuart
Phaidon Press Ltd, London
ISBN: 0-7148-3812-8

Understanding Graphic Design
Steven Heller and Karen Pomeroy
© 1997 Steven Heller and Karen Pomeroy
Allworth Press, New York
ISBN: 1-880559-76-5

DESIGN LITERACY [Second Edition]
Understanding Graphic Design
Steven Heller
© 2004 Steven Heller
Allworth Press, New York
ISBN: 1-58115-356-2

The Annual of the American Institute of Graphic Arts
Written by Steven Heller and Philip B. Meggs
© 1986 by the American Institute of Graphic Arts
ISBN: 0-8230-2133-5
(Extended article/overview dealing with the Seymour Chwast who was an AIGA medalist for 1985)

300 Years of Johann Sebastian Bach
Seymour Chwast and Peter Schickele
Illustrations © 1985 Seymour Chwast
Introduction © 1985 Peter Schickele
Pushpin Editions
A Dolphin Book/Doubleday & Company, Inc., Garden City, New York
ISBN: 0-385-19912-0

Edited by Steven Heller
© 1985 Seymour Chwast
Push Pin Editions
Published by Harry N. Abrams, Inc., New York
ISBN: 0-8109-1284-9

A Quarter Century of Innovative Design and Illustration
Seymour Chwast
Edited by Steven Heller and Martin Venezky
Introduction by Milton Glaser
Preface © 2004 Seymour Chwast
Introduction © 2004 Milton Glaser
Essay © 2004 Steven Heller
Illustrations © 2004 The Pushpin Group Inc., except those by Milton Glaser © Milton Glaser.
Chronicle Books, San Francisco
ISBN: 0-8118-4103-0


American Artist
October 1971
Article: "Seymour Chwast: A Coney Island of the Head" by David Preiss
Publisher: Billboard Publications, Inc., New York

Volume 30 1974/75
Article: "Seymour Chwast: A Hundred Heads" by Jerome Snyder
Publisher: Walter Herdeg
The Graphis Press, Zurich

Volume 34 Nov/Dec 1978
Article: "Push Pin Graphic: A Studio Magazine Comes of Age: by Myrna Davis
Publisher: Walter Herdeg
The Graphis Press, Zurich

All issues (Nos. 1 – 13)
1997 - 2006
© The Pushpin Group, New York

Seymour Chwast/Pushpin
The Art Directors Club
Ro Gallery, Long Island City, New York

January 30, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJoe Sullivan

Members and interested designers and history nuts:
As you investigate Lost Bauhaus Art, you can find some books and Websites under other categories than Bauhaus: Holocaust, Nazi, Third Reich, Degenerate Art, and by an artist's name (Gropius, Mondrian, etc). You can also check out museums and collections, such as the National Gallery in Washington, Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Art Institute of Chicago, Musées Nationaux Récupération [MNR] in France, Lost Art Internet Database in Germany, National Museums of the United Kingdom.
Or for more hints, email

November 8, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJerry Litofsky

FOR OUR DISCUSSION ON LOST BAUHAUS ART, thanks to the Nazi regime of the Third Reich, members of our group are asked to research and present their findings. Specifically, what happened to the artwork, furniture, graphics, textiles, tableware, and other crafts pillaged, confiscated, sold, auctioned, bartered, and damaged or destroyed before and during World War II?

The recent film, The Rape of Europa, is an excellent documentary about the search and attempts at recovery of paintings, sculpture, jewelry, and precious objects from Europeans (mostly Germans and Poles) in countries dominated by the Nazis. The army, following Hitler’s orders, grabbed artwork he determined was “degenerate,” “bolshevism,” and dangerous to German culture.

Whatever was considered modern or international, including Dada, Futurism, Cubism, Surrealism, Expressionism, and all abstract art, was condemned and at risk.

Nothing was mentioned or shown about the Bauhaus or the artists working at the school in Weimar, Dessau or Berlin. I think Paul Klee was briefly referred to, but no other member was included in the film.

What happened to Bauhaus art condemned as "entrartete kunst," or degenerate art?

Check out the museum and search Websites listed elsewhere, and see what you can dig up. This can be original research, and the Society of History and Graphics could make something big out of your findings.

November 8, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJerry Litofsky


Provenance Research Project,
Association of Art Museum Directors,

Association of Art Museum Directors Task Force on the Looting of Art During the Nazi/World War II Era; and information on other museum sites,

Nazi-Era Provenance Internet Portal launched in September 2003 by the AAM provides a general searchable registry of objects in U.S. museum collections that were or could have been in Continental Europe during the Nazi era, and thus includes the works on this MoMA Web site,

Final Report of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Holocaust Assets in the United States and related resources,

Lost Art Internet Database facilitates the registration of cultural assets that were relocated, transported, or confiscated as a result of persecution during World War II and the Nazi period, lists of more than 2,200 looted artworks,

Art Loss Register, a comprehensive database of looted art, designed to help Holocaust survivors and their heirs in their search for lost art works, enables prospective purchasers and lenders to ascertain whether a particular work of art has been reported stolen or missing,

Central Registry of Information on Looted Cultural Property 1933 - 1945, and the Commission of Looted Art in Europe (ECLA), based in London,

New York State organizations dealing with claims, Holocaust restitution information, and searchable lists,

International Foundation of Art Research website,

New York State organizations dealing with claims, Holocaust restitution information, and searchable lists,

International Foundation of Art Research website,

International online resources relating to the Second World War and looted art,

Records and Research Relating to Holocaust-Era Assets, at the National Archives and Records Administration and specifically for information regarding access to primary and secondary resources,,

Holocaust Era Related Resources at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles,,

Searchable index of over 2,000 works stolen from victims of the Holocaust, Click on “MNR” (for Musées Nationaux Récupération).

Exhibition of works restituted to the French government after WWII,, Dossiers, MNR.

November 8, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJerry Litofsky

The book "The Album Cover Album" was edited by Hipgnosis and Roger Dean, published in 1977, United Kingdom.

HIP (3) adjective, informal following the latest fashion, esp. in popular music and clothes

GNOSIS |ˈnōsis| noun, knowledge of spiritual mysteries. ORIGIN late 16th cent.: from Greek gnōsis ‘knowledge’ (related to gignōskein ‘know’ ).

September 26, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterLynn Bernardi

Speaking of coincidences, reading the bios of those who created the book "The Album Cover Album" (1977), here's a summary of one of the editors, Roger Dean:

Roger Dean (born England 1944), studied industrial design Canterbury College of Art; studied in the Furniture School, Royal College of Art, MA 1968 in Design. Considered himself a three dimensional designer. While working on the seating he designed for a jazz club in London, he was commissioned to design his first album cover for Gun (1968). In the next seven years did over 60 covers including ones for Yes and Uriah Heep. In 1975 he formed "Dragon's Dream" to publish "Views", a book of his work of architectural and furniture design, and his record sleeves.

So there you have it! Someone who designed record sleeves AND furniture tying together our rock poster/album cover theme with the Eames furniture designers.

September 26, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterLynn Bernardi

Phil's Fonts e-newsletter "Big Type" has Album Covers front and center in their new issue. What a coincidence!

September 26, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterLynn Bernardi

Another insight into Futurism that begins the book, 'Futurism' by Caroline Tisdall and Angelo Bozzolla:
"Italian Futurism was the first cultural movement of the twentieth century to aim directly and deliberately at a mass audience. To do so it made use of every available means and medium, and invented others beside. It was a hectic herald of the recurrent concern in the art of our times to equate art and life, an equation which still remains unresolved."

Still thinking about Futurism. The more I read and see, the more there is to learn.
Here's a very poetic segment from Marinetti's Manifesto that appeared on the front page of 'Le Figaro' on February 20, 1909:
"We will sing of great crowds excited by work, by pleasure, and by riot; we will sing of the multicolored polyphonic tides of revolution in the modern capitals; we will sing of the vibrant nightly fervor of arsenals and shipyards blazing with violent electric moons; greedy railway stations that devour smoke-plumed serpents; factories hung from clouds by the crooked lines of their smoke; bridges that stride the rivers like giant gymnasts, flashing in the sun with the glitter of knives; adventurous steamers that sniff the horizon; deep-chested locomotives whose wheels paw the tracks like the hooves of enormous steel horses bridled by tubing; and the sleek flight of planes whose propellers chatter in the wind like banners and seem to cheer like an enthusiastic crowd."

The Futurism discussion was fascinating--opening many avenues of inquiry

September 10, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJoe Sullivan
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