The Glaser Nobody Knows: How Do You Like Them Milton Apples?

Posted inGraphic Design

The Glaser Nobody Knows is a column featuring work by Milton Glaser that you may never have seen before. There are countless projects by the master, both produced and unpublished, that are unfamiliar even to design aficionados. All of the items in this column are part of The Milton Glaser Design Study Center and Archives at the School of Visual Arts, the chief repository of his legendary work.

As director of the SVA Gallery from 1964-1969, Shirley Glaser, Milton Glaser’s wife, organized a series of conceptually creative group shows; they were purposely non-commercial and intended to serve as an educational tool for SVA students.

She operated at a stunning pace, producing a new exhibition every few weeks, calling up artists herself, and then ferrying the artworks to the SVA Gallery via subway or taxi. The small posters publicizing these exhibitions were all designed by Milton Glaser and represent some of the most important work of his career.

Much of the documentation from these shows have been lost to time. “Inside the Big Apple: Paintings of New York Interiors” was held from October 9-November 1, 1968, and featured work from artists Arakawa, Richard Artschwager, Jack Beal, Robert De Niro (Sr.), Howard Kanovitz, Alex Katz, Herbert Katzman, John Koch, Sylvia Mangold, Malcolm Morley, and Lowell Nesbitt. I’ve been unable to uncover any press coverage, but we do have Milton Glaser’s poster for the exhibition, along with a couple of sketches.

While Milton’s sketches reveal a more literal concept – an apple in a room – the final poster is somewhat more abstract, featuring globe-like apples rotating in space.

Beth Kleber is the founding archivist of the Milton Glaser Design Study Center and Archives and the School of Visual Arts Archives in New York City. Kleber also curated the exhibition “Primary Sources: Documenting SVA and the New York Art World 1966–1985.” She lectures on design history and research, and assists students and researchers with inquiries on everything from Push Pin Studios to the activities of the renowned artists who have taught at SVA. Kleber has also worked in trade publishing and began her librarian and archivist career at New York Public Library. For more from the Glaser/SVA Archives, head to Instagram.