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Twenty Fabulous Designs by Edward McKnight Kauffer

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Edward McKnight Kauffer

Radio Times December 1927

Edward McKnight Kauffer is almost certainly best known for his posters that he produced for London Underground – 140 of them. So perhaps it seems strange that he was born, in December 1890, in Great Falls, Montana. At the age of twenty he travelled to San Francisco working as a bookseller and studying art at the California School of Design from 1910 to 1912. At around this time Professor Joseph McKnight of the University of Utah became aware of Kauffer’s work, sponsored him and via the Art Institute of Chicago, paid to send him to Paris for further study. In gratitude Kauffer took his sponsor’s name as a middle name. In 1913 he met his partner and later wife, the textile designer, Marion Dorn. They moved to London a year later at the outbreak of WW1 and lived in Britain’s capital until 1940 when Kauffer returned to New York where he designed book covers and in 1947 became a client of American Airways – producing many notable posters for the company. He died in 1954.

While Kauffer was in Chicago he witnessed the Armory Show one of the first exhibitions in the US that introduced modernism. It had a major impact on Kauffer who showed abstract influences including cubism, vorticism and futurism all his working life.

Edward McKnight Kauffer by Carl Van Vechten, 27 May 1934

Edward McKnight Kauffer by Carl Van Vechten, 27 May 1934

 

Edward McKnight Kauffer

Aeroshell Lubrication Oil from 1952

 

Edward McKnight Kauffer

Winter Sales are Best Reached by the Underground, 1921.

Edward McKnight Kauffer

American Airlines to England c.1950

 

American Airlines to New England c.1950

American Airlines to New England c.1950

 

Edward McKnight Kauffer

American Airlines to New York c.1950

 

Edward McKnight Kauffer

American Airlines to Washington c.1950

 

Edward McKnight Kauffer

Daily Herald, 1918

 

Edward McKnight Kauffer

Lubrication by Shell, 1957

 

Edward McKnight Kauffer

Eastman and Sons, Dyers and Cleaners, 1926

 

Edward McKnight Kauffer

Earls Court Motor Show, 1937

 

Edward McKnight Kauffer

Enos Fruit Salt, 1924

 

Edward McKnight Kauffer

Exhibition of pictures in advertising by Shell Mex and BP c.1938

 

Edward McKnight Kauffer

Tourists Prefer Shell, 1938

 

Edward McKnight Kauffer

Pan American Airlines – Ireland

 

Edward McKnight Kauffer

Natural History Museum South Kensington, 1923

 

Edward McKnight Kauffer

Piccadilly Extension Finsbury Park to Arnos Grove

 

Edward McKnight Kauffer

Route 84 to St Albans from Golders Green

 

Edward McKnight Kauffer

Summertime Pleasure by Underground, 1925

Edward McKnight Kauffer

You Can Be Sure of Shell, 1938