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 Lucian Bernhard  (1883 - 1972)

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Lived/Active: New York      Known for: graphic design-poster style, interior design, painting, sculpure

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Ad Code: 4
Lucian Bernhard
from Auction House Records.
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Lucian Bernhard (March 15, 1883–May 29, 1972) was a German graphic designer, type designer, professor, interior designer, and artist during the first half of the twentieth century. He was born in Stuttgart, Germany, on March 15, 1883, as Emil Kahn to a Jewish family, but changed in 1905 to his more commonly known pseudonym. His first name is often spelled Lucien.

He was influential in helping create the design style known as Plakatstil (Poster Style), which used reductive imagery and flat-color as well as Sachplakat ('object poster') which restricted the image to simply the object being advertised and the brand name. He was also known for his designs for Stiller shoes, Manoli cigarettes, and Priester matches.

Though he studied briefly at the Akademie in Munich, he was largely self-taught. He moved to Berlin in 1901 where he worked as a poster designer and art director for magazines. In 1920 he became a professor at the Akademie der Künste until 1923, when he emigrated to New York City.

In 1928 he opened the Contempora Studio with Rockwell Kent, Paul Poiret, Bruno Paul, and Erich Mendelsohn where he worked as a graphic artist and interior designer. After 1930 he worked primarily as a painter and sculptor until his death on May 29, 1972.

Lucian Bernhard was the father of the photographer Ruth Bernhard.


These Notes from AskART represent the beginning of a possible future biography for this artist. Please click here if you wish to help in its development:
Born in Stuttgart, Germany, Lucian Bernhard became an art instructor at New York University and the Art Students League.

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