Underground Modernist: E. McKnight Kauffer

09.14.2021 - 04.10.2022

Event link: www.cooperhewitt.org/channel/kauffer/


 Photo provided by Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

The largest-ever exhibition of works by graphic design pioneer E. McKnight Kauffer (American, 1890–1954) traces the designer’s transformative role in integrating avant-garde style into modern life. Renowned in his lifetime as the “poster king,” Kauffer’s career encompassed all media as he relentlessly pursued innovation in the commercial arts. The exhibition features more than 150 design objects, ranging from riveting posters promoting revolutions in transportation to book jackets and illustrations for the most influential publications of the time, as well as groundbreaking abstract designs for theatrical productions, carpets, film titles, and more.

Press release:

Installation photography:

The related publication E. McKnight Kauffer: The Artist in Advertising is available at SHOP Cooper Hewitt: