Credit: Artwork © Estate of Martin Munkácsi, Courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York
Release Date: December 19, 2019
Exhibition Explores How Photography, Graphic Design, and Magazines Transformed Mid-Century American Visual Culture
Modern Look: Photography and the American Magazine May 1 – September 13, 2020
New York, NY, December 19, 2019 — The Jewish Museum will present Modern Look: Photography and the American Magazine, an exhibition exploring how photography, graphic design, and popular magazines converged to transform American visual culture from 1930 to 1960. It will be on view at the Jewish Museum from May 1 through September 13, 2020.
During this time period, avant-garde strategies in photography and design reached the United States via European émigrés, including Bauhaus artists forced out of Nazi Germany. The unmistakable aesthetic made popular by such magazines as Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue — whose art directors, Alexey Brodovitch and Alexander Liberman, were both immigrants and accomplished photographers — emerged from a distinctly American combination of innovation, inclusiveness, and pragmatism.
Featuring over 150 works including photographs, layouts, and cover designs, the exhibition considers the connections and influences of designers and photographers such as Richard Avedon, Lillian Bassman, Lester Beall, Margaret Bourke-White, Louis Faurer, Robert Frank, William Klein, Lisette Model, Gordon Parks, Irving Penn, Cipe Pineles, and Paul Rand.
Modern Look: Photography and the American Magazine is organized by Mason Klein, Senior Curator, The Jewish Museum.
The accompanying catalogue by Mason Klein, with essays by Maurice Berger, Leslie Camhi, and Marvin Heiferman, is being published by the Jewish Museum and Yale University Press. The essays draw a lineage from European experimental design to innovative work in American magazine design at mid-century and offer insights into the role of gender in fashion photography and political activism in the mass media.
Modern Look: Photography and the American Magazine is made possible by The Mimi and Barry J. Alperin Family Fund, a gift from the estate of Gaby and Curtis Hereld, Phillip and Edith Leonian Foundation, Heidi and Richard Rieger, Wyeth Foundation for American Art, Lisa S. Pritzker, Ronit and Bill Berkman, John and Helga Klein, and Ellen Schwartz Harris. Additional support is provided by The Skirball Fund for American Jewish Life Exhibitions, Horace W. Goldsmith Exhibitions Endowment Fund, The Alfred J. Grunebaum & Ruth Grunebaum Sondheimer Memorial Fund, and other generous donors.
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