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December 30: El Lissitzky

Russian artist, graphic designer, and architect El Lissitzky, an important avant-garde creator who strongly influenced the Bauhaus and constructivist movements, died at 51 on this date in 1941. Born in Lithuania, Lissitzky was barred by the anti-Semitic quota system from attending an art academy in Saint Petersburg, so he took himself to Germany in 1909 […]

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July 17: Album Cover Art

Alex Steinweiss, an artist and designer who was the first to suggest and execute original artwork for a record album cover (for a 1939 collection of Rodgers and Hart songs, shown at left), died at 94 on this date in 2011. “’The way records were sold was ridiculous,’ Mr. Steinweiss said in a 1990 interview,” […]

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November 14: Delaunay’s Orphism Art Movement

Sonia Delaunay (Sarah Ilinitchna Stern), the first living woman artist to have a retrospective exhibition at the Louvre (1964), was born in the Ukraine on this date in 1885. In Paris after 1905, she founded, with her husband Robert Delaunay, the Orphism Art Movement, an offshoot of Cubism that emphasized pure geometric abstraction and bright […]

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October 11: Leo Lionni

Children’s book author Leo Lionni died in Chianti, Italy on this date in 1999. He was born in 1910 in the Netherlands; his father was a Sephardic Jewish diamond cutter, his mother a concert singer, his uncle an art collector who stored many paintings in Lionni’s childhood home. After living in four different countries (and […]

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April 25: Saul Bass, the Man with the Golden Arm

Graphic designer Saul Bass, who created movie posters and title credits for Alfred Hitchcock, Otto Preminger, Billy Wilder, Stanley Kubrick and Martin Scorsese, died on this date in 1996. He was trained at the Art Students League and at Brooklyn College, where Gyorgy Kepes, an Hungarian emigré, introduced Bass to Bauhaus and  Russian Constructivism. Bass […]

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