Drawing from Merrill C. Berman's private collection of 20th-century posters, adverts, photomontages and graphic ephemera, this book showcases over 200 examples of progressive graphic design from the 1920s and 30s. European, Soviet and American avant-garde designers and artists of the time, using new technologies of mass production and mass distribution, marketed everything from salad oil and cigarettes to communism, utopian socialism and the avant-garde itself. These selections from the Berman Collection include works by well-known artists (Lissitzky, Rodchenko, Cassandre, Man Ray and others) and by lesser-known masters. The book begins by detailing Berman's role in shaping the history of graphic design as he amassed his collection. The authors then investigate the filtering of avant-garde design into mass produced posters and advertisements, the evolution of design production techniques in the Machine Age and the avant-garde's promotion of itself. This book accompanies an exhibition that opens at the Williams College Museum of Art in April 1998, then travels to the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in February 1999, and later to Spain, Japan and The Henry Museum in Seattle.
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