1950's, 1960's, art, Betty Parsons Gallery in New York, Carl F.Zahn, Contemporary Japanese Art, culture, design, education, Gutai, Institute of Contemporary Art Boston, Japan, Joseph Bourke Del Valle, Museum of Fine Art in Boston, Museum of Modern Art New York, photos, typography
In our art catalog series, I would like to show a few different points of views in catalog design about a decade apart. It took America a while to realize that Americans of Japanese descent produced art worth showing thirteen years after the Second World War had ended with disastrous results for the Japanese people.
The first catalog is from 1958 and has as a theme and title “Contemporary Painters of Japanese Origin in America”, as opposed to saying Japanese Americans as we most likely would say nowadays or even use the term Asian Americans. The Institution holding the exhibition was the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston. The typography and catalog design was by Carl F. Zahn.
One lender to the exhibition was the Betty Parsons Gallery from New York, known for her support of Avant garde artists. The square format was relatively new in catalog design in 1958 and the cover looks like a Japanese type paper, it has an half moon vellum cover produced by the Mohawk Paper Mills. The type used in the catalog was Baskerville-Monotype series 353 with Time script display. The Exhibition showed the work of seven artists.
A word about the catalog designer, Carl F. Zahn (1928-2012) was for many decades the designer of catalogs and exhibitions at the Museum of Fine Art in Boston. Under his direction the museum published some of their finest publications.
The second catalog we are reviewing is the 1966 Museum of Modern Art (New York) traveling exhibition, the first of its kind in Japanese /American relations, showing contemporary art from Japan. The title is “The New Japanese Painting and Sculpture”. The catalog measures 9.5 inches H x 8 inches W and was designed by Joseph Bourke Del Valle. It has 116 numbered pages and featured the works of 46 artists. The exhibition traveled for almost 2 years to San Francisco, Denver, Omaha, Columbus, Baltimore and Milwaukee. We will let the pictures speak for them selves.