BAUHAUS. PM: The Bauhaus Issues, A Complete Set, February 1938 – January 1940. Volume 4, Nos. 5 & 7 and Volume 6, No. 2.

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Volume 4, No. 5, Volume 4, No. 7 and Volume 6, No. 2

The Bauhaus Issues Complete Set

In April 1937, Editors Robert Leslie and Percy Seitlin announced their intent to devote the July or August PM to The Bauhaus Idea in America: "This issue will be the most ambitious expression of the editors' belief that those engaged in a given art of design should be aware of their common interest with those in other branches if design, whether it be poster art, typography, scenic design, furniture design, or architecture." The ambitious plan for Josef Albers to guest edit the contributions of Walter Gropius, Xanti Schawinsky, Grace Young, William Lescaze, and A. Lawrence Kocher was never realized. The Gropius contribution was published in the February-March 1938 issue and was followed by issues devoted to the Bauhaus Typographic Tradition (June-July 1938) and Herbert Bayer (December 1939- January 1940). Offered here is the complete Bauhaus Trilogy from an original subscriber.

Robert L. Leslie and Percy Seitlin [Editors]: PM [An Intimate Journal For Art Directors, Production Managers, and their Associates]. New York: The Composing Room/P.M. Publishing Co., Volume 4, No. 5: February / March 1938. Issue Number 42 (on cover but actually 41- first bi-monthly). Original edition. 12mo. Stapled, photographically-printed stiff wrappers. 50 pp. Illustrated articles and advertisements. Cover by Lee Brown Coye. Wrappers faintly worn. A nearly fine copy.

This issue of PM features Essentials for Architectural Education by Walter Gropius, a 16-page letterpress insert designed by Herbert Matter. PM 42 was the first of three issues that devoted themselves to detailed analysis of the importance of the recently-shuttered Bauhaus.

5.5 x 7.75 saddle-stitched Digest with 42 [8] pages. PM 42 also features a cover and insert by Lee Brown Coye, a preferred cover artist for Weird Tales.

  • Walter Gropius - Essentials for Architectural Education (designed by Herbert Matter)
  • The Work of Lee Brown Coye (designed by Lee Brown Coye)
  • Editorial notes
  • The Lore of Color by Fabir Birren
  • A Preface of Words
  • PM Shorts: mention (and includes a photo of a very young) Paul Rand.

Robert L. Leslie and Percy Seitlin [Editors]: PM [An Intimate Journal For Art Directors, Production Managers, and their Associates]. New York: The Composing Room/P.M. Publishing Co., Volume 4, No. 7:  June – July 1938. Original edition. Slim 12mo. Perfect bound and sewn letterpressed wrappers. 76 pp. Illustrated articles and advertisements. Cover is 2-color original design by Bauhaus student M. Peter Piening. Wrappers lightly soiled, but a nearly fine copy.

5.5 x 7.75 perfect-bound digest with 44 [32] pages of articles and advertisements. This issue of PM rates a singular high point in the history of American Graphic design because it was the first published account in English of the Bauhaus Typographic philosophy. L. Sandusky wrote the text and Lester Beall provided the design work for the 34-page, 2-color insert that has become one of the standard bibliographic references for the cross-pollination of European and American avant-garde typography.

The Bauhaus Tradition and the New Typography feautres work by Wassily Kandinsky, Alexander Archipenko, Walter Gropius, Kasimir Malevich, El Lissitzky, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Karel Teige, Piet Mondrian, Jan Tschichold, Paul Renner, Herbert Bayer, M. Peter Piening, Pierre Matisse, Tom Benrimo and others. While it seems common today to attach these names together under the common avant-garde umbrella, it was quite an intellectual stretch to merge the plastic arts of architecture, painting, typography, printing and sculpture into a coherent argument in 1938.

Lester Beall's layouts for this article are truly amazing-- A classic piece of original graphic design and one of the best instances of the synthesis of the European Avant-garde into the American consciousness.

This issue of PM also includes an article on Warren Chappell; A New Angle on Animation; A Specimen of Types by The Village Press; A Bibliography of The Village Press; and A Specimen of types - engraved & designed by The Village Press. PM / A-D Shorts column mentions  L. Sandusky, Lester Beall, The Art Squad, Leon Friend, Herbert Matter, M. Peter Piening, Paul Smith.

Herbert Bayer and Robert L. Leslie and Percy Seitlin [Editors]: PM [An Intimate Journal For Art Directors, Production Managers, and their Associates]. New York: The Composing Room/P.M. Publishing Co., Volume 6, No. 2: December 1939- January 1940. Original edition. Slim 12mo. Perfect bound and sewn letterpressed wrappers. 108 pp. Illustrated text and advertisements. Cover is 2-color original design by Herbert Bayer. Wrappers lightly worn and soiled at extremities. The Fritz Eichenberg insert excluded due to a binding error, otherwise a nearly fine copy.

5.5 x 7.75  Digest with 108 pages of articles including two-color original letterpress design cover and 32-pages written and designed by Bayer, with four pages of wax-paper overlays to illustrate Bayer's composition theories. Three articles authored by Bayer in the early thirties are published here for the first time in English: contribution toward rules of advertising design, fundamentals of exhibition design, and towards a universal type are printed in their entirety. 53 photos, illustrations, diagrams and reproductions are in the Bayer section alone.

  • Herbert Bayer: Contributing Towards Rules of Advertising Design
  • Herbert Bayer: Fundamentals of Exhibition Design
  • Herbert Bayer: Towards a Universal Type
  • PM Presents the Art Squad: cover by Alex Steinweiss and layout by Seymour Robins: a bound-in Insert with cover by Alex Steinweiss and layout by Seymour Robins.
  • Editorial Notes
  • Books and Pictures
  • PM Collaborators 1934 - 1939
  • A Central Mart
  • PM Shorts

These editions of PM are amazing original examples of Bauhaus Graphic Design and its influence on American modern design. The 1938-1939 publication dates mark these as some of the  earliest representations of  the Bauhaus immigration to America.

PM magazine was the leading voice of the U. S. Graphic Arts Industry from its inception in 1934 to its end in 1942 (then called AD). As a publication produced by and for professionals, it spotlighted cutting-edge production technology and the highest possible quality reproduction techniques (from engraving to plates). PM and A-D also championed the Modern movement by showcasing work from the vanguard of the European Avant-Garde well before this type of work was known to a wide audience.

Of all the artists to pass through the Bauhaus, none lived the Bauhaus ideal of total integration of the arts into life like Herbert Bayer (1900 - 1985). He was a graphic designer, typographer, photographer, painter, environmental designer, sculptor and exhibition designer. He entered the Bauhaus in 1921 and was greatly influenced by Kandinsky, Moholy-Nagy and El Lissitzky. He left in 1923, but returned in 1925 to become a master in the school. During his tenure as a Bauhaus master he produced many designs that became standards of a Bauhaus "style." Bayer was instrumental in moving the Bauhaus to purely sans serif usage in all its work. In 1928 he left the Bauhaus to work in Berlin. He primarily worked as a designer and art director for the Dorland Agency, an international firm. During his years at Dorland a Bayer style was established. Bayer emigrated to the United States in 1938 and set up practice in New York. His US design included work for NW Ayers, consultant art director for J. Walter Thompson and design work for GE. From 1946 on he worked exclusively for Container Corporation of America (CCA) and the Atlantic Richfield Corporation. In 1946 he moved to Aspen to become design consultant to CCA. In 1956 he became chairman of the department of design, a position he held until 1965. He was awarded the AIGA medal in 1970. Bayer's late work included work for ARCO and many personal projects including several environmental designs.

Herbert Matter (1907 - 1984) studied painting at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Geneva and at the Academie Moderne in Paris with Fernand Leger and Ozenfant. He worked with A. M. Cassandre, Le Corbusier and Deberney & Peignot. He returned to Zurich in 1932 and designed posters for the Swiss National Tourist Office and Swiss resorts. He came to the US in 1936 and freelanced with Harper's Bazaar, Vogue and other magazines. From 1946 to 1966 he was design consultant with Knoll Associates. From 1952 to 1976 he was professor of photography at Yale University and from 1958 to 1968 he served as design consultant to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York and the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston. He was elected to the New York Art Director's Club Hall of Fame in 1977, received a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship in photography in 1980 and the AIGA medal in 1983.