This volume brings to light the creative and forward-thinking work of German-born artist Winold Reiss (1886-1953), who arrived in New York in 1913, the year of the ground-breaking Armory Show. The exhibition shook the American art scene to its core and ushered in a radically new artistic sensibility, whilst Reiss's exuberant, dynamic designs anticipated the American passion for this new European avant-garde art. Steeped in a German aesthetic, Reiss brought his unique brand of modernism to the United States, and established a reputation and material presence in New York's cultural and commercial landscape.
This vibrantly illustrated volume showcases over 140 examples of Reiss's work, ranging from his early graphic creations for adverts, menus, packaging, calendars, and books, to his architecture and interior designs for clients including the Busy Lady Baking Company, Caf Rumpelmayer, Crillon Restaurant, Longchamps restaurants, and the Music Pavilion fa ade at the 1939 World's Fair. Reiss's portraits of African Americans include leading figures of the Harlem Renaissance as well as members of the professional and working classes. Essays by leading specialists Marilyn Satin Kushner, Debra Schmidt Bach, C. Ford Peatross, and Jeffrey C. Stewart provide an overview of Reiss's life and artistic achievements, examining his interior designs of iconic New York restaurants and bars, his portraits of African Americans and his decorative arts including his work in new twentieth-century materials.
Dr. Marilyn Kushner is curator and head, Department of Prints, Photographs and Architectural Collections, New-York Historical Society. Dr. Debra Schmidt Bach is curator of Decorative Arts, New-York Historical Society. Ford Peatross is founding director of the Center for Architecture, Design & Engineering in the Prints & Photographs Division of the Library of Congress. Dr. Jeffrey Stewart is professor, Department of Black Studies, University of California at Santa Barbara.