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 There are countless projects by the master, both produced and unpublished, that are unfamiliar even to design aficionados.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.
The 1965 children’s book, Cats and Bats and Things with Wings, was a truly collaborative project between Glaser and poet Conrad Aiken.
Unlike the typical process between author and illustrator, Glaser sent one drawing at a time to Aiken, who would respond with a poem. Glaser wrote in his 1973 monograph Milton Glaser Graphic Design, “My graphic idea was to do every drawing in a different style, a kind of muscle-flexing. I used a very rigid format to give the book continuity since the drawings didn’t.”
Some of these drawings first appeared in the Summer 1961 issue of the British magazine Motif. Motif was printed with a hardbound cover and did not feature any advertising; perhaps it was a source of inspiration for Audience magazine, a short-lived (1971-1973) and similarly gorgeous hardcover magazine of art, literature, and long-form journalism art directed by Glaser and Seymour Chwast.
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.