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ALEXEY BRODOVITCH 1867

Harper’s Bazaar publishes its first issue.

Bauret, Gabriel. Alexey Brodovitch. Paris: Assouline, 1998.

Bunker, George R. Alexey Brodovitch and His Influence: Exhibition and Catalogue. Philadelphia: Philadelphia College of Art, 1972.

Grundberg, Andy. Brodovitch. New York: Documents of American Design, 1989.

Purcell, Kerry William. Alexey Brodovitch. London: Phaidon Press Limited, 2002.

Remington, R. Roger, Virginia Smith, and Nathalie Cattaruzza. The Enduring Legacy of Alexey Brodovitch. New York: Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, 1994.


1880s

Moving image technology was first invented.

1880—1945

The Machine Age stands at the end of the industrial revolution. It sets the stage for Brodovitch’s career, for he was always in pursuit of the new.


1913

The first 35mm film camera Leica I prototypes were built. These cameras greatly increased the quality of portable photography, giving documentary photographers more flexibility.

1898

Alexey was born in Russia to a father who was a military physician and mother who was an amateur painter.

1892

Vogue becomes Harper’s Bazaar’s competition, and presses the need for high quality design work.


1913 1905

Umberto Boccioni set a precedent for depicting movement and fluidity in Unique Forms of Continuity in Space.

Cheslav Brodovitch, Alexey’s father, was assigned to a Moscow hospital. Brodovitch’s first photographs with box camera gift were in Moscow of Japanese prisoners of war.


1914—1918

1919

During World War I, Brodovitch joined the Russian Army to escape from the Imperial Art Academy.

Constructivism in Russia used abstract geometry in service of design function.


1919—1933

1914—1919

The Bauhaus school strengthened the Constructivist ideas and applies them to all fields of art and design.

Longer film reel technology allows for innovation in motion pictures, a strong source of inspiration for Brodovitch.


1920

Surrealism influences Brodovitch for its unusal images that surprised the viewer.

Brodovitch moves to Paris with his new wife. As an émigré, he associates with other Russian artists who greatly influence his design perspective.

Art Deco’s rich colors, bold shapes, and opulent ornamentation finds its way into Brodovitch’s work, especially for its relevance to fashion.


1918—1925

Purism emphasizes the visual impact of pure, simple geometric formal style.

1939—1945

World War II brings many photographers to the battlefront, proliferating documentary photography.


1933 Brodovitch starts Design Laboratory, a platform to experiment with cutting edge graphic design.

1934

Brodovitch begins using documentary style photography Harper’s Bazaar. Martin Munkåcsi is one of the photographers that led the style.


1945

Brodovitch publishes Ballet, a photo book of ballet performances. The atmospheric, blurred photography contrasted with the sharp photos of his contemporaries and pioneered a new method of conveying emotion through image.

1934—1958 Brodovitch is hired as art director of Harper’s Bazaar.

1950—1951

Brodovitch publishes three issues of Portfolio magazine, an innovative magazine showcasing avant garde art works.


1959

Brodovitch designs Observations, a photo book by Richard Avedon. It stands as a well designed book at the pinnacle of Brodovitch’s career.

1955—1968 Many of the photographers that Brodovitch works with capture striking images from the American Civil Rights Movement.


Designed and assembled by Matthew Tso. Photographs scanned from books courtesy of the Fleet Library at the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, RI. This booklet was designed using Adobe Creative Suite 6 and typeset in Hoefler & Frere-Jone’s Didot. Thanks to Doug Scott, Catherine Cieslewicz, and my classmates in History of Graphic Design. Special thanks to Connie Zhao for printing and Christopher Lo for listening. Printed with an Epson Inkjet Photo Stylus r2000 printer on Ultra Premium Presentation Matte Epson paper.

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Alexey Brodovitch Context Timeline  

This book shows the context around the graphic designer Alexey Brodovitch through three inter-woven timeline threads. It was designed for Hi...

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