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with two pre-war ski runs. Paepcke and Bayer were instrumental in initiating the changes that would make Aspen a cultural oasis in the 1950’s and beyond. The Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies was founded by Paepcke in 1949, with Herbert Bayer working as architect and design consultant. He designed a complex of buildings for the institute, integrated within the natural landscape of the mountain valley. In 1955 he created a work called grass mound, a forty foot grassy place for relaxation, years before the concept of “earthworks” became popular. He also created marble garden using discards from an old marble quarry. In 196364 he designed a new tent for the Aspen Music Festival. With his return to mountain living, mountains and contour map elements began to emerge in his artwork from the late 1940’s on, as in his lithograph mountains and lakes (1948). He designed a series of ski posters, including ski broadmoor (1959). In 1953 the Container Corporation published world atlas with graphics designed by Herbert Bayer. His goal was to put together an atlas with clean graphics that was easy to read. The interaction between fine art and commercial art again shows in Bayer’s paintings and prints with continuing use of weather related symbols, such as arrows, flow charts and contour maps. The Container Corporation employed the talents of Man Ray and Fernand Leger as well as Bayer in the late 1930’s. It was their concept that through good design, corporations could influence good taste and profits. Bayer, with his Bauhaus ideals, was a natural to work in this collaboration of art and industry. In their ads, text was limited to fifteen words of copy in order to put the emphasis on visual images. Lengthy texts were out; clean copy was in. Advertising was seen as good public relations with consumers and buyers at other corporations. Bayer used collage and photomontage, elements from his fine art, in his early advertisements. He became chairman of Container Corporation’s Department of Design in 1956. He was more than

26 A|C|A January 2011

just an art director, contributing in management decisions, including the design of buildings and interiors. The Great Ideas of Western Man was a Herbert Bayer advertising campaign of the 1950’s and 60’s. These ads had no sales message, again working on the concept that a good corporate image was also good for business. The ad concept was an out- growth of discussions at the Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies. The Institute worked to bring business executives and managers together to discuss ideas in a relaxed setting and a cultural environment. The Aspen Institute was as responsible for putting Aspen on the world map as was skiing. It was also a great concept for expanding the year past ski season, with many of its programs in the summer months. It was through connections at the Aspen Institute that Bayer met Robert O Anderson, founder of Atlantic Richfield Oil Company. In the early 1950’s they became friends; Anderson bought Bayer’s house in town when Herbert moved his studio onto Red Mountain, overlooking Aspen. Along with the house, Anderson also began to buy artwork by Bayer, providing the beginning of a relationship of patron and friend that would last until the end of Bayer’s life. After Walter Paepcke’s death in 1960, Bayer began working for ARCO as an art and design consultant, starting in 1966. Bayer oversaw the design of corporate offices in New York and Philadelphia, as well as Los Angeles when the corporate headquarters moved there. He designed the artwork for ARCO Plaza in Los Angeles: double ascension, two linked staircases in a pool of water. He also advised ARCO on the development of its large corporate art collection and the performing arts programs it sponsored. He designed carpets and tapestries for the corporate offices. He designed a sculpture for the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City. A similar sculpture resides at the Design Center in Denver, Colorado. He also developed a seriesof sculptures for ARCO that were designed to hide/beautify the Philadel-

American Contemporary Art (January 2011)  

An issue of American Contemporary Art magazine, published in January 2011.

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