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JEAN GEORGES LEON CARLU (1900-1997)
French illustrator and graphic designer, born in Bonnieres-sur-Seine. A student of architecture at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in 1918, he redirected his interests toward the fields of graphic art and exhibition design after the amputation of his right arm. By 1931 he had achieved international recognition as an advertising illustrator. In 1937 he acted as chairman of the Graphic Publicity Section of the Paris International Exhibition, and three years later, was sent by the French government to the United States where he remained for the next thirteen years. In the States he was employed by the Office of War Information to design defense posters, and was connected with various groups of La France Libre. He also worked for a number of American firms, and designed commercial and educational exhibitions for the United States, commissioned by the French government.
Carlu returned to his native country in 1953 where he designed posters and was a consulting art director for such companies as Air France, Larousse, and Firestone France. Although widely recognized for his contribution to the poster genre, his talents have also extended into the areas of book illustration and typographical design. He illustrated Le Bourgeois Mal Marie by C. Villiers. He was the International President of AGI from 1945 to 1956 and retired in 1974.
Carlu died in Nogent-sur-Marne, France in 1997.
Chevrel and Cornet, Grain de Beaute: un siecle de beaute par la publicite;
Who's Who in Graphic Art; Brooklyn Museum, A Century of American Illustration;
Benezit; Phillips, "Omitting details, says Jean Carlu, is secret of universal appeal," Editor & Publisher, Aug. 15, 1931, p. 30, Smithsonian American Art Museum Web site: http://americanart.si.edu/search/artist_bio.cfm?ID=749.
Information courtesy of Sara Willett Duke, Curator, Library of Congress