Masquerading Artists

Posted inThe Daily Heller
Thumbnail for Masquerading Artists

The Artists Equity Masquerade Ball was the highlight of the season, attracting the cream of the creme of New York’s creative community. Each year it issued a spiral bound program titled Improvisations, comprised of artwork created by masters like Ben Shahn, Reginald Marsh, Isabel Bishop, Milton Avery, Raphael Soyer, Leo Lionni and many more, as advertisements for the various retail and non-profit sponsors.

equity ball008
equity ball014
equity ball013
equity ball011
equity ball012
equity ball010
equity ball009
equity ball015

The annual balls were held in spring at the Hotel Sheraton Astor. Each edition was limited to 2000 copies. This (above) is from the 1951 ball. The art was reproduced by litho, however, as if on a photocopier, on various color stocks. More sketch than final, the work has a freshness that made Improvisations a real collector’s treat.

(This and more like it are available here.)

Legends in Advertising AwardsPrint’s new competition recognizes outstanding advertising work, from PSAs to campaigns to student work to radio — and everything in between. Enter the Legends in Advertising Awards for a chance to have your work featured in a special issue of Print.

About Steven Heller

Steven Heller is the co-chair of the SVA MFA Designer /Designer as Author + Entrepreneur program, writes frequently for Wired and Design Observer. He is also the author of over 170 books on design and visual culture. He received the 1999 AIGA Medal and is the 2011 recipient of the Smithsonian National Design Award.

View all posts by Steven Heller →