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Dwiggins, Cooper, Goudy and Holme in Chicago

A look at the Frank Holme School of Illustration and its most influential teachers and students

Oct 25
  • October 25
  • 6:00 PM
  • Simple Truth

Chicago was the fastest growing city in the United States in the 1890s. The boom in population brought with it an artistic boom. One small but significant aspect of that development was the establishment in 1898 of the Frank Holme School of Illustration, located in the Athenaeum Building on Michigan Avenue. Although the school lasted for little more than half a decade it has had an outsized influence on American graphic design, especially type design. Among the teachers was a young Frederic W. Goudy and among the students were W.A. Dwiggins and Oswald Cooper. Together they became three of the four most important American type designers of the first half of the 20th century.

In a profusely illustrated talk Paul Shaw will place the Frank Holme school in the design context of its time, describe its founder, and examine the early work of Goudy, Dwiggins, and Cooper. He will show a range of the work of Holme, a newspaper illustrator by trade but also an artist, as well as that of the teachers he hired, among them the Leyendecker brothers, Will Carqueville, and John McCutcheon. And he will show the work of some of Holme’s contemporaries such as Will Bradley, Frank Hazenplug, W.W. Denslow, and Gustave Baumann. But the focus of the talk will be on Goudy, Dwiggins, and Cooper and their commercial art, especially their lettering. Holme, McCutcheon, Dwiggins, and Cooper all had a wonderful sense of humor which will make the talk both visually and verbally amusing.

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