• Steven Heller

Metzl’s Mad Men

The Advertising Conference by The Goswogii by Richard Henry Little and illustrated by Ervine Metzl was published in 1927 in an edition of 175 by the Holiday Press. While there was a later reprint of the original, the book’s raison d’etre is something of a mystery — Ervine Metzl is not.

He was a prolific illustrator and designer. Metzl even helped young Paul Rand find a position designing advertisements for a Manhattan ad agency. Metzl illustrated many Fortune covers and designed ten postage stamps for the United States Postal Service.

One of his best known stamp designs was a commemorative stamp for the first International Geophysical Year in 1957-1958, in which he “endeavored to picture a man’s wonder at the unknown together with his determination to understand it and his need for spiritual inspiration to further his knowledge” by pairing the outstretched arms from Michelangelo’s The Creation of Adam with a depiction of a solar flare, the Dental Health stamp and the Abraham Lincoln one cent issue. He also designed commemoratives for the first World Refugee Year.

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