ADVERTISING ARTS, November 1933. Frederick C. Kendall [Editor]; Bobri, Margaret Bourke-White, Graham Sutherland, E. McKnight Kauffer, Egmont Arens, Lester Gaba, Thurman Rotan

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November 1933

Frederick C. Kendall [Editor], Ruth Fleischer [Associate]

Frederick C. Kendall [Editor]: ADVERTISING ARTS. New York: Advertising and Selling Publishing Co., November 1933.  Original edition. Wire-spiral binding. Letterpressed thick wrappers. 40 pp.  One fold-out. Elaborate graphic design and production throughout. Cover design by Bobri. Uncoated covers very lightly soiled. A very good to nearly fine copy. Rare.

8.5 x 11.5 wire-spiral bound magazine with 40 pages of text and advertisements. "Devoted to the design of advertising, the creation of printing, and the styling of merchandise and packages." -- the Publishers.

"Advertising Arts" promulgated a progressive design approach (and style) unique to the United States during the early Thirties, called Streamline. Unlike the elegant austerity of the Bauhaus, where economy and simplicity were paramount, Streamline was a uniquely American futuristic mannerism based on sleek aerodynamic design born of science and technology. Planes, trains and cars were given the swooped-back appearance that both symbolized and physically accelerated speed. Consequently, type and image were designed to echo that sensibility, the result being that the airbrush became the medium of choice and all futuristic traits, be they practical or symbolic, were encouraged. The clarion call was to "Make it Modern" -- and "it " was anything that could be designed. – Steven Heller


  • Cover Design by Bobri
  • Paper in the Making by Dr. J. Campbell: includes 2 photographs by Margaret Bourke-White and line drawings by Oscar Ogg.
  • Poster Prizes: includes work by Andrew Loomis, Frederic Stanley, H. Ledyard Towle
  • Photograph for Fisher Bodies by Henry Waxman
  • New Patterns in Persuasive Print by Fred T. Singleton
  • End Paper Design for Italian Line by Victor Beals [Drawing]
  • Color illustration by E. Everett Henry for Frankenstein on Linweave Text, White Wove, Antique
  • Four pages of English Posters: includes work by Clifford and Rosemary Ellis, Brynhild Parker, E. Hawthorne, Graham Sutherland, E. McKnight Kauffer, and Mansbridge among others
  • Illustration for American Writing Paper by Kirk Wilkinson
  • Design for Business by Roy Sheldon: includes a photo-montage by R. H. Macy & Co., package design by Egmont Arens, and a photograph by Hi Williams,
  • Gaba Girls: Mannequins by Lester Gaba
  • Two pages of Photographic Initials: includes work by Nesmith, Thurman Rotan, Anton Bruehl, Guild, and Nyholm & Lincoln
  • Cover of a modern cookbook for H. J. Heinz Co., designed and prepared by Maxon, Inc. with a color photograph by Anton Bruehl
  • Idea by Joseph Katz

Vladimir Bobri (Bobritsky) (Ukrainian, 1898 – 1986, Rosendale, New York) was an illustrator, author, composer, educator and guitar historian. Celebrated for his prolific and innovative graphic design work in New York since the mid-1920s, Bobri was also a founder of the New York Society of The Classic Guitar in 1936, and served as editor and art director of its magazine, Guitar Review, for nearly 40 years.

Vladimir Bobritsky studied at the rigorous Kharkiv Imperial Art School. By 1915 he had begun designing sets for the Great Dramatic Theatre of Kharkiv, introducing the methods of theatrical designer Gordon Craig. Swept up in the Russian Revolution, Bobritsky fought on various sides in the civil war before managing to escape in 1917.

"After the Revolution came a long and enforced period of travel and a kind of montage of activity," wrote Bobritsky's friend and fellow artist Saul Yalkert in a biographical sketch printed in Forty Illustrators and How They Work (1946): “As a refugee he traveled on a handmade passport, eight closely printed pages in Polish, so skillfully wrought that it left no doubt as to his talent and feeling for calligraphy, since it successfully passed the expert examination of the English, French, Italian and Greek consular authorities. . . . In the mountainous, peninsular Crimea he worked as a wine presser for the Tartar fruit and wine growers. Later he came in contact with Russian, Hungarian and Spanish gypsies, studied their lore, the peculiarities of the different tribes. Having met with a band of gypsies in the Crimea he earned his way as a guitar player in their chorus.”

Bobritsky painted icons in the Greek islands, played the piano in a nickelodeon in Pera, painted signs in Istanbul, discovered an important Byzantine mural in an abandoned Turkish mosque, and earned his passage to America by designing sets and costumes for the Ballet Russes in Constantinople.

"Through all those wanderings his knapsack always had a watercolor box, a drawing pad," Yalkert wrote. "The record was kept with constant sketching of people, stories, folklore, folk music and crafts."

Bobritsky emigrated to the United States in 1921. In his artist profile in Forty Illustrators and How They Work, Ernest W. Watson reports that Bobritsky began operating his own textile printing establishment soon after arriving in New York. "In 1925 he was called in by the art director of Wanamaker's, in an experiment with modern advertising," Watson wrote. "His radically different newspaper layouts were more than the establishment could stomach and both artist and art director were dismissed. But Saks Fifth Avenue saw, admired and beckoned." Saks offered Bobri the position of art director.

"His newspaper and magazine layouts represented a fresh departure," wrote Walt Reed, scholar and historian of illustration art. "Bobri soon found himself with enough clients to embark on a freelance career, largely for advertising illustrations, and strongly influenced by his background of classical training and theatrical designing."

The first of Bobritsky's seven covers for The New Yorker magazine was dated February 6, 1926. By the 1930s, Bobritzky — or Bobri, as he signed his name with greater frequency — had become a leading illustrator in the burgeoning world of advertising. His accounts included Hanes, Koret and Avon; his work was prominent in the Annual of Advertising Art. He also gained renown as an illustrator of children's books. Bobri frequently contributed to Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, McCall's and many other magazines.

Bobri continued his study of the guitar. In 1936, he and a small group began meeting informally, forming the first major classical guitar society in New York City, the New York Society of the Classic Guitar.

"The Society's beginnings were somewhat modest, but Bobri, through a seemingly small act, would ensure the Society's preeminence for decades to come," wrote Lester S. Long in NYlon Review, the official newsletter of the New York City Classical Guitar Society: “An illustrator by trade, Bobri presented Andrés Segovia with an offer to paint his portrait. Segovia accepted. In the process the pair began a decade-long friendship and Segovia accepted the position of honorary president of the Society. Already a star in Europe and starting his career in the United States, Segovia would be no mere figurehead; instead, he would influence the artistic direction of the Society for nearly 50 years as chairman of the advisory committee.”

In 1946, the society began publishing The Guitar Review. Bobri served as editor and art director of the quarterly magazine until 1985. As well as designing a number of album covers for Segovia recordings, Bobri wrote and illustrated the influential book, The Segovia Technique (1972).

In 1972, Bobri was decorated with the Cross of Isabel la Catolica with the rank of Knight-Commander, recognizing his lifelong achievements as a designer, painter, art director, composer and writer, and his use of those talents to increase awareness of Spanish culture. The award was presented by the consul general of Spain in New York, at a ceremony attended by Spanish dignitaries including Andrés Segovia.

On November 3, 1986, Vladimir Bobri lost his life in a house fire, one that consumed the house he designed, built and lived in for nearly 50 years, together with his art, correspondence and collection of guitars. Introducing a memorial tribute in its Winter 1987 issue, The Guitar Review wrote, "In the midst of our inability to accept so great a loss, we are seduced by a possible validity in the old Viking philosophy: the belief that the helmsman and his pyre are sent resurrected into the unknown, to sail the sea of eternity. May we hope it's true that our dear friend Bobri has indeed embarked on that mythical journey, still in possession of all he took with him." [Wikipedia]