Tuesday, May 25, 2010

"The High Art of Photographic Advertising," from Baker Library

Gordon Coster. Advertisement for Lord & Taylor, ca. 1934; 1934 Art and 
Industry Exhibition Photograph Collection, Baker Library Historical 
Collections.
Laura Linard of Harvard Business School's Baker Library sends word of a new physical and on-line exhibit, "The High Art of Photographic Advertising," organized by Historical Collections at Baker.  From the exhibit announcement:
In 1934, a stunning photographic exhibition sponsored by the National Alliance of Art and Industry (NAAI) and the Photographic Illustrators, Inc., opened at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York. The show featured works by the top photographers of the day–including Russell Aikins, Margaret Bourke-White, Nickolas Muray, John Paul Pennebaker, and William Rittase–with a particular emphasis on advertising and industrial images. A year later the NAAI donated over 100 prints from the exhibition to the Harvard Business School, which at the time was actively collecting photographs for exhibition and classroom use. By the 1930s, photography prevailed as the predominant media for print advertising. The images chosen for the NAAI exhibition reveal the inventive visual language with which photographers were experimenting and social and material ideals to which advertisers hoped consumers would aspire.
 “The High Art of Photographic Advertising,” organized by Baker Library Historical Collections, revisits the original 1934 exhibition, exploring the synergy between photography and corporate culture of the time and how 75 years later, the collection survives as a telling chapter in evolving perceptions about photography’s artistic, commercial, and cultural significance. 
Lakeside Press Studios. Color Advertisement, ca. 1934; 1934 Art and
Industry Exhibition, Photograph Collection, Baker Library.
For those in the Boston area, the physical exhibit will run through October 9, 2010, in the North Lobby of Baker Library (the Bloomberg Center); gallery talks will be presented on Thursday, June 17, 2010, and September 23, 2010, at 4:00 p.m.