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Artist in Social Communication

DATES November 1947 through January 1948
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  • November 26, 1947: The Brooklyn Museum is presenting a unique exhibit entitled “The Artist In Social Communication” from November 26 to January 4. This is in collaboration with Gartner and Bender, Inc, Chicago, Illinois, publisher of Greeting Cards.

    This is an exhibit of exceptional interest for several reasons. The art submitted represents a lively, untrammeled expression of greeting card art from eleven contemporary artists, including not only widely recognized mature artists but also some of the newcomers who are just beginning to appear in galleries. Six are winners of cash awards, and the other have received honorable mentions. The judging was done entirely by the members of the Advisory Committee of the Arts Bureau, who made their decisions independently.

    Each artist was invited to submit one or more pieces of work, but was left entirely free as to subject and treatment. The purpose of the exhibit is twofold: To increase recognition of the importance of the greeting card in mass social communication, and also awareness of the important part played by the well trained, capable artist in creating greeting card designs. The exhibition will show prize winning designs by John Atherton, Jan Balet, Erica Gorecka-Egan, Reginald Marsh, Hans Moller, and Gregory Prestopino. Other artists represented as winners of honorable mentions are: Lloyd Parsons and Audrey Bueller, Lucille Corcos, Ben Shahn, Lynd Ward, and Joanne Yee Wong.

    This exhibition will have particular value to the artist and student of art, for it reveals a growing field of so-called commercial art which is hungry for fine art.

    “This showing is planned to attract into the field of greeting card art the highest type of artist for the benefit of the greeting card industry and the consuming public”, according to explanation from Robert J. Bender, president of Gartner & Bender. “It was also designed to dramatize and vivify the high skills of the greeting card artist. The show will travel around the country, and is being made available to art schools, colleges and high school art departments, and museums.”

    Still another feature of the exhibition that will add interest is a display of the steps in the production of a greeting card, together with an explanation of the important part it takes in social communication, and a display of some of the symbols used and their psychological interpretation. The cards shown are for exhibition purposes only and are not offered for sale.

    The exhibit was designed by George Nelson, architect, designer and author.

    Members of the Advisory Committee of the Arts Bureau, who initiated this exposition of “The Artist in Social Communication” are: Elizabeth Burchenal, executive chairman of the National Committee on Folk Arts of the United States; Raymond Baxter Dowden, assistant professor of design, Cooper Union, New York; Julianna Force, director of the Whitney Museum of American Art; Lloyd Goodrich, director of the American Art Research Council and research curator of the Whitney Museum of American Art; Arthur Hawkins, Jr., president of the Art Directors Club, New York; Ely Jacques Kahn, architect of New York; Dr. Horace M. Kallen, Dean of the graduate faculty of political and social science, New School for Social Research; Thomas Munro, editor of the Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism; Alfred G. Pelikan, American Secretary of the International Federation for Art Education, Drawing and Art Applied to Industry; Dorothy Thornton, Supervisor of Industrial Design, Vocational High Schools, New York city; Edna P. Vaughan, president of the Eastern Arts Associates.

    NOTE TO EDITOR: We will gladly supply black and white photographs on request. The original art will be available for photographing about November 20th.

    Brooklyn Museum Archives. Records of the Department of Public Information. Press releases, 1947 - 1952. 10-12/1947, 156-7. View Original 1 . View Original 2