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How Jewish immigrants gave US magazines their aesthetic and style

TJI Pick
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Published: 20 April 2021

Last updated: 4 March 2024

The NY Jewish Museum’s exhibit ‘Modern Look: Photography and the American Magazine’ shows how exiled artists influenced Harper’s, Vogue and Vanity Fair

WITH HER OVERCOAT CINCHED around her waist and gloved hands holding an open umbrella, the woman leaps over a puddle with the grace of a prima ballerina and the get-up-and-go of Mary Poppins.

Published in the September 1957 issue of Harper’s Bazaar, Richard Avedon’s iconic photograph Carmen (Homage to Munkasci) is one of more than 150 works featured in The Jewish Museum’s new exhibit, Modern Look: Photography and the American Magazine.

The exhibit shows how exiled and émigré artists, photographers, and designers who arrived in the United States between 1930 and 1950 imported a unique forward-looking aesthetic that married photography, graphic design, and modernist principles. In doing so, these creators changed the look of American magazines such as Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and Vanity Fair.

FULL STORY How mid-century Jewish immigrants changed the US magazine industry forever (Times of Israel)

Photo: Bradbury Thompson's design for Westvaco Inspiration for Printers, No. 210, 1958 (Cary Graphic Arts Collection, Rochester Institute of Technology/The Jewish Museum)

The Jewish Independent acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of Country throughout Australia. We pay our respects to Elders past and present, and strive to honour their rich history of storytelling in our work and mission.

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