Monday, March 27, 2017

MMT: Revealed! Edward McKnight Kauffer

The graphic artist is Edward McKnight Kauffer!

Library Sloth sits with the illustration for Requiem for a Nun book jacket. 

Referred to as “the Picasso of advertising design” Edward McKnight Kauffer was an influential advertising poster artist in Europe during the 1920s and 1930s.  He produced the dust jacket art for the 1951 first edition of William Faulkner’s Requiem for a Nun.

Portrait of Edward McKnight Kauffer

Kauffer may be best known for the 140 posters that he produced for London Underground, and later London Transport. The posters span many styles: many show abstract influences, including futurism, cubism, and vorticism; others evoke impressionist influences such as Japanese woodcuts.

Kauffer returned to America at the outbreak of World War II where he struggled in the more competitive New York City advertising atmosphere until he was approached to do a series of posters for American Airlines in 1947. He created posters for Shell Oil and other commercial clients, and also illustrated books and book covers. In his later years after returning to the United States, Kauffer continued to use the book jacket as a medium for graphic and typographical experimentation, designing jackets for Random House, Alfred Knopf and Pantheon Press. In addition to designing the book cover for Requiem for a Nun, Kauffer illustrated several other Random House Faulkner offerings, including Intruder in the Dust, Light in August and Sanctuary.  

The University Museum and Archives and Special Collections are happy to be a part of the 24th Annual Oxford Conference for the Book! Be sure to stop by for the free, public events next week: 

March 29th, 11 am, Conference Kick-Off with a welcome lunch at Library and Special Collections on March 29th 11:30 am, Jay Slatterfield Lecture entitled "Faulkner at Random: Building a House, Building a Brand" 
March 30th, 1:30pm Panel Discussion related to "Lasting Impressions: Restoring Kate Freeman Clark," with special guest curators Annette Trefzer and James G. Thomas, Jr., and Carolyn J. Brown, author of The Artist's Sketch: A Biography of Painter Kate Freeman Clark

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