The best work emerges from phenomena that exist independently of each other. What the designer intuits is the linkage, a way to unify separate occurrences and create a gestalt, an experience in which this new unity provides a new insight.

Milton Glaser

To Inform and Delight

The Collection of Milton Glaser

For over sixty years, Milton Glaser, one of America’s foremost and influential graphic designers, has made it his business to look at the world closely. From this devotional act of looking has sprung a distinctly American vernacular of design — one that is both reverent of and transgressive toward the historical, celebrates pastiche and intuition over immediate coherence, and is as proudly intellectual as it is raffish. The present collection of over two hundred works, from Glaser's own personal collection, is a visual testament to his limitless range, compassionate curiosity and belief that the field of design is a “philosophical inquiry into the nature of truth, beauty, and reality”.

 

199  MILTON GLASER
original art for Dante's Purgatorio
136  MILTON GLASER
Juilliard (Wing), original art for The Juilliard School poster
120  MILTON GLASER
Illumination and Bricks, original art for Volunteers in Service of America poster
113  MILTON GLASER
original art for I Love New York: Spring Flower Festival poster

 
Glaser considers his career as a graphic designer a “preordained condition”. In 1954, at just twenty-five-years-old, Glaser, along with Seymour Chwast, Reynold Ruffins and Edward Sorel founded Push Pin Studios  —  a graphic design firm that Glaser said was run “like a bunch of art students trying to change history”. Through their eclectic, boisterous approach to designing album covers, posters, publications and logos, Push Pin inspired a seismic shift away from the exacting and severe “Swiss Precisionism” that had swayed graphic design since the 1930s. The studio was regarded as a beacon for the new modern era of graphic design, so much so that in 1970 they were the first American studio to have an exhibition at the Musée des Arts Decoratifs in Paris. Several early works by Glaser from this era are featured in the auction, including works for the studio’s equally influential monthly magazine, Push Pin Graphic.

 

129  MILTON GLASER
Follies Girl, original art for Push Pin Graphics magazine
135  MILTON GLASER
Flower in Room, original art for Fish in the Sky
147  MILTON GLASER
New York is About New York, original art for New York magazine
155  MILTON GLASER
original art for the cover of Great Big Bands and Friends album, Jazzland

That duration between seeing and understanding is always what you play with in communicating ideas.

Milton Glaser

In 1974, Glaser left Push Pin to establish his own studio; in 1977, he would design what is possibly the most recognizable and imitated graphic in the world — the I NY logo, expressing, in no uncertain terms, his love for the city. Even though he is most known for the sublime simplicity of I NY, Glaser’s wide scope of work embraces ambiguity, a joyful “lack of coherence” (as he calls it) and, above all, the assertion that art is work. Glaser has designed over 400 posters, identities for cultural institutions, newspapers, restaurants and grocery stores, he co-founded New York magazine in 1968, and has taught at the lauded School of Visual Arts for over fifty years. But at the center of all this work, this copious outpouring of visual forms, riddles and jubilations, is Glaser’s insistence that design is a fundamentally humanistic act that should do no harm, and express “the commonality and continuity of all human experience”. Glaser personally selected this collection to reflect and celebrate his momentous career on the occasion of his 91st birthday.

 

167  MILTON GLASER
original art for I Love New York: Long Island Fall Festival poster
110  MILTON GLASER
original art for Jean-Philippe Rameau's Les Indes Galantes album cover, Columbia Records
123  MILTON GLASER
Night of the Snow Leopard, original art for New York Zoological Society.
141  MILTON GLASER
Carmen, original art for San Francisco Opera poster

The deepest role of art is creating an alternative reality, something the world needs desperately at this time. Art is the most benign and fundamental way of creating community that our species has discovered. Mozart and Matisse — children of Eros — make us more human and more generous to one another.

Milton Glaser

Milton Glaser 1929–2020

Milton Glaser was born in 1929 to Hungarian Jewish émigrés living in the South Bronx. From a young age, he sketched and recalls that his “earliest commissions were in grade school, where [he] drew naked women for older boys for a penny a piece”. At twelve-years-old, he began taking formal drawing lessons with the Russian American social realist painter Moses Soyer. Glaser was exposed to social consciousness (an ethos that would come to shape his practice as a designer) from a young age, growing up in communist-leaning cooperative housing in the Bronx and steeped in a progressive, Jewish “attitude toward life, food, music, and intellectual pursuit”.

Auction Results Milton Glaser

MILTON GLASER, LaGuardia Vase, original art for Middle College High School at LaGuardia Community College, CUNY 20th Anniversary poster | wright20.com

Milton Glaser

LaGuardia Vase, original art for Middle College High School at LaGuardia Community College, CUNY 20th Anniversary poster
estimate: $2,000–3,000
result: $8,750

MILTON GLASER, New York is About New York, original art for New York magazine | wright20.com

Milton Glaser

New York is About New York, original art for New York magazine
estimate: $3,000–5,000
result: $8,750

MILTON GLASER, Mit der 5. Farbe machen Sie den Sprung nach vorn, original art for Druckerei Robert Pütz GmbH poster | wright20.com

Milton Glaser

Mit der 5. Farbe machen Sie den Sprung nach vorn, original art for Druckerei Robert Pütz GmbH poster
estimate: $2,000–3,000
result: $8,125

MILTON GLASER, Night of the Snow Leopard, original art for New York Zoological Society. | wright20.com

Milton Glaser

Night of the Snow Leopard, original art for New York Zoological Society.
estimate: $4,000–6,000
result: $8,125

MILTON GLASER, Luminous Flowers, Still Life, original art for Olaf Leu Design advertising campaign | wright20.com

Milton Glaser

Luminous Flowers, Still Life, original art for Olaf Leu Design advertising campaign
estimate: $2,000–3,000
result: $8,125

MILTON GLASER, Bach Variations (twelve works), original art for Lincoln Center's Bach Tricentennial poster | wright20.com

Milton Glaser

Bach Variations (twelve works), original art for Lincoln Center's Bach Tricentennial poster
estimate: $8,000–10,000
result: $7,500

MILTON GLASER, Flower in Room, original art for Fish in the Sky | wright20.com

Milton Glaser

Flower in Room, original art for Fish in the Sky
estimate: $2,000–3,000
result: $7,150

MILTON GLASER, original art for I Love New York: Spring Flower Festival poster | wright20.com

Milton Glaser

original art for I Love New York: Spring Flower Festival poster
estimate: $5,000–7,000
result: $6,250

MILTON GLASER, original art for Juilliard School (Ladder) poster | wright20.com

Milton Glaser

original art for Juilliard School (Ladder) poster
estimate: $6,000–8,000
result: $5,625

MILTON GLASER, original art for the cover of Jan Hammer's First Seven Days album, Nemperor Records | wright20.com

Milton Glaser

original art for the cover of Jan Hammer's First Seven Days album, Nemperor Records
estimate: $2,000–3,000
result: $5,313

MILTON GLASER, Juilliard (Wing), original art for The Juilliard School poster | wright20.com

Milton Glaser

Juilliard (Wing), original art for The Juilliard School poster
estimate: $5,000–7,000
result: $5,200

MILTON GLASER, original art for Peace Works, Artists Against the War poster | wright20.com

Milton Glaser

original art for Peace Works, Artists Against the War poster
estimate: $1,500–2,000
result: $5,000

MILTON GLASER, original art for the cover of Jean-Philippe Rameau's Les Indes Galantes album, Columbia Records | wright20.com

Milton Glaser

original art for the cover of Jean-Philippe Rameau's Les Indes Galantes album, Columbia Records
estimate: $5,000–7,000
result: $5,000

MILTON GLASER, original cover art for Tony Kushner's Angels in America Part Two: Perestroika | wright20.com

Milton Glaser

original cover art for Tony Kushner's Angels in America Part Two: Perestroika
estimate: $3,000–5,000
result: $4,875

MILTON GLASER, Black Nude | wright20.com

Milton Glaser

Black Nude
estimate: $1,500–2,000
result: $4,688

MILTON GLASER, original art for the cover of Kathy Baker's Feel the Heat album, Tomato Records | wright20.com

Milton Glaser

original art for the cover of Kathy Baker's Feel the Heat album, Tomato Records
estimate: $5,000–7,000
result: $4,688

MILTON GLASER, original art for the cover of Linda Cohen's Angel Alley album, Tomato Records | wright20.com

Milton Glaser

original art for the cover of Linda Cohen's Angel Alley album, Tomato Records
estimate: $2,000–3,000
result: $4,063

MILTON GLASER, Images of Labor, original art for Smithsonian Institution poster | wright20.com

Milton Glaser

Images of Labor, original art for Smithsonian Institution poster
estimate: $3,000–5,000
result: $4,063

MILTON GLASER, Juilliard (Pianist), original art for the The Juilliard School poster | wright20.com

Milton Glaser

Juilliard (Pianist), original art for the The Juilliard School poster
estimate: $4,000–6,000
result: $3,750

MILTON GLASER, original art for Hermann Hesse calendar | wright20.com

Milton Glaser

original art for Hermann Hesse calendar
estimate: $4,000–6,000
result: $3,750

MILTON GLASER, original art for the cover of the Blues Masters: Little Walter and Otis Rush album, Tomato Records | wright20.com

Milton Glaser

original art for the cover of the Blues Masters: Little Walter and Otis Rush album, Tomato Records
estimate: $4,000–6,000
result: $3,750

MILTON GLASER, original cover art for Shakespeare's The Tempest, Penguin Books | wright20.com

Milton Glaser

original cover art for Shakespeare's The Tempest, Penguin Books
estimate: $2,000–3,000
result: $3,750

MILTON GLASER, original art for the cover of Maynard Ferguson's Carnival album Columbia Records | wright20.com

Milton Glaser

original art for the cover of Maynard Ferguson's Carnival album Columbia Records
estimate: $2,000–3,000
result: $3,750

MILTON GLASER, Untitled | wright20.com

Milton Glaser

Untitled
estimate: $3,000–5,000
result: $3,750