The Glaser Nobody Knows: Milton and Bruno Zimm’s Color Palette

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 There are countless projects by the master, both produced and unpublished, that are unfamiliar even to design aficionados.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.

In 1962, Milton and Shirley Glaser purchased a home in Woodstock that once belonged to sculptor Bruno Zimm. Zimm passed away nearly twenty years before the Glasers bought the house, but Zimm’s paint palette remained on the wall of the studio, and it formed the basis for a series of three drawings done by Glaser in July of 1966, all surreal riffs on the inherited paint-smeared board.

We have one of the original drawings in the Archives, “Zimm’s Fat Palette,” a rich three-dimensional layer cake of smudged Cray-Pas. Another drawing, “Zimm’s Palette, torn apart,” appeared on the cover of Graphis magazine issue 133 in 1967 (the issue featured an article about Push Pin Studios). 

In some neat symmetry, Glaser also tore apart the Graphis logo at the top of the page.

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.