Fans of all things mid-century modern will get a history lesson when the College of Visual Arts celebrates the dynamic work of graphic designers Alvin Lustig and Elaine Lustig Cohen. Married in 1948, Alvin and Elaine pioneered a singular aesthetic that combined European modernism with American graphic design of the 1950s. From designing signage for architects such as Phillip Johnson and Eero Saarinen to creating book covers, posters, catalogs, interior design, and advertising, the two cut quite a swath until Alvin died suddenly in 1955. Elaine subsequently married Arthur A. Cohen, publisher of Meridian Books, and they established Ex Libris, New York, a bookshop and gallery specializing in rare volumes of the European avant-garde. The show includes more than 400 covers of various sorts (books, sheet music, albums, magazines). There will be a $25 lecture with Stephen Heller at the Minnesota History Center (345 Kellogg Blvd. W., St. Paul) at 7 p.m. Wednesday, September 19; plus a $50 sneak-peek reception at the gallery from 8:30 to 10:30 p.m. later that evening. The free opening reception is from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, September 20.
Sept. 19-Oct. 21, 2012