1920-1925 Time Travel
I was a member of Group 9 (G3) and we were allocated years 1920-1930 and 1950-1960.
All Group 9 members were given 5 to 6 year slots which they were responsible for researching individually and collecting important information on for that era. By doing that we felt that everyone would be responsible for looking in to the detail of a 5-6 year slot. Each member of the group ended up doing their own individual representation of their allocated years.
I researched 1920-1925 and looked into different topics for each year, like: Graphic Arts, Advertising, Architecture, Arts and Culture, Industrial Design, Inventions, Politics and Type.
And here is my final Time Line presentation:
The Roaring Twenties is a phrase often used to describe the 1920s, principally in North America, but also in London, Berlin and Paris. It was a period of sustained economic prosperity. The phrase was meant to emphasize the period’s social, artistic, and cultural dynamism, characterized as a period ranging from prohibition to prosperity.
The Roaring Twenties were alternatively known as The Jazz Age or the Golden Twenties. Happy Twenties is a term, mostly used in Europe.
1920s were an interlude between the Great War and the Great Depression. The era was further distinguished by several inventions and discoveries of far-reaching importance, industrial growth, accelerated consumer demand and aspirations, and significant changes in lifestyle and culture becoming more modern.
Great leaps were made in technology in form of commercial radio, cinema and television, jazz music blossomed, the Flapper- style challenged traditional Victorian gender roles, redefined modern womanhood, Art Deco peaked, and finally the Wall Street Crash of 1929 served to punctuate the end of the era, as The Great Depression set in.
Overall, the decade is often seen as a period of great contradiction: of rising optimism and deadening cynicism, of increasing and decreasing faith, of great hope and great despair. Put differently, historians usually see the 1920s as a decade of serious cultural conflict.
- Art Directors Club of New York is founded, with fifty-three charter members and Pierce Johnson as president.
- El Lissitzky designs What Did You Do for the Front poster in a constuctivist manner.
- The Society of Illustrators in New York allows women memberships.
- L’Espirit Nouveau magazine, and its theories on Purism is founded in France by Amedee Ozenfant and Le Corbusier.
- New York radio station WEAF offers 10 minutes of radio time for $200. Real estate firm, buys the first commercial in advertising history : four 15 minute spots at $50 apiece.
- Campbell Kid ad is designed by Grace Gebbie Drayton.
- Architectural Digest publishes first issue.
- Erich Mendelsohn’s Einstein Tower an astrophysical observatory is built in Potsdam, Germany.
Arts and Culture
- Les Champs Magnétiques (The Magnetic Fields) is a book by André Breton and Philippe Soupault. It is famed as the first work of literary Surrealism, authors used a surrealist automatic writing technique.
- Vladimir Tatlin’s Monument to Third International is unveiled in Moscow, to symbolise the new Soviet society. It was designed to surpass the Eiffel Tower by a third part of its height, but it was never built.
- Societe Anonyme an art organization is founded by Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray, and Katherine Dreier, in New York.
- Olympic Games are held at Antwerp after eight-year hiatus.
- International Dada Fair is held in Berlin.
- The Flapper is a 1920 American silent comedy film starring Olive Thomas. It was the first movie in the United States to portray the “flapper” lifestyle which would soon become a 1920’s behavior.
- Kem Weber, a German interior and furniture designer, opens firm in Los Angeles. He created several iconic designs of the ‘Streamline’ style.
- Productivism is established in Russia to bring beauty and functionality to everyday products.
- Adolf Hitler proclaims his twentyfive-point program for the transformation of Germany at the Hofbrauhaus in Munich.
- Nationalist Socialist Workers Party, Germany, adopts the ancient swastika as its official symbol.
- Women’s suffrage granted that women finally gained the right to vote in the United States.
- J. Van Krimpen, Dutch type designer, designs the Palladium book series and Lutetia typeface.
- J. L. Frazier writes Modern Type Dispaly, an early look at typographic progress.
- Morris F. Benton designs Century Schoolbook typeface.
- Sol Hess designs Hess Old Style typeface (refinements continue until 1923).
- Alexander Rodchenko, painter, turns to graphic design and photojournalism. Together with his wife, Varvara Stepanova, and Aleksei Gan, he publishes Program of the First Working Group of Constructivists at INKHUK (Institute of Artistic Culture) in Moscow.
- Arbeiter Illustriete Zeitung (A-I-Z)The Workers Pictorial Newspaper was a weekly German illustrated magazine founded by Willi Münzenberg in Berlin.
- Marcel Duchamp and Man Ray publish first and only issue of New York Dada.
- El Lissitsky and Ilya Ehrenburg create the multilingual journal and Soviet periodical named Veshch (Russian), Gegenstand (German), Objet (French), Object (English).
- The Malik Verlag, German Publishing House known for antigovernment publications and left-wing literature is incorporated by John Heatfield, George Grosz, and Weiland Herzfeld.
- John B. Watson, behavioral psychologist, is hired by U.S. advertising agency J. Walter Thompson to get to know the consumers minds.
- Chanel No.5 Perfume was launched for the modern woman.
Arts and Culture
- Andre Breton (poet), founds Surrealism in Paris, believing Dada has lost its relevance.
- El Lissitzky moves to Berlin and spreads suprematist and constructivist ideas in Western Europe.
- Last major Dada exhibition is shown at Salon Dada Exposition Internationals at Galerie Montaigne, Paris.
- Man Ray creates ”Rayogramme” photographs that look like X- rays. He also moves to Paris and during the 1920s applying Dada and Surrealism to photography.
- Vladimir Tatlin and Alexander Rodchenko lead twenty-five artsits in renouncing ’art for art’s sake.’ They devote their work to industrial design, visual communications and applied arts.
- Charlie Chaplin’s first full-length silent movie “The Kid” is a huge success.
- Albert Einstein is Awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics.
- John Larson, a University of California medical student, invented the modern lie detector (polygraph).
- Chinese Communist Party is founded in Shanghai.
- Alexander Rodchenko designs brochure Konstruktivism by Aleksei Gan.
- El Lissitzky´s children´s book Story of Two Squares is illustrated in the constructivist style.
- First Comic Strip Exhibition is held at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, New York.
- Oskar Schlemmer designs the Bauhaus emblem.
- Reader´s Digest publishes its first issue.
- W. A. Dwiggins coins the term “ graphic design” in his article “New Kind of Printing Calls for New Design”, published in the Boston Evening Transcript, to describe the encompassing work of a type, typography, page and ad designer.
Arts and Culture
- Dada more or less ends in Europe with advent of Surrealism.
- Howard Carter discovers Tutankhamen´s tomb, which triggers Egyptomania in architecture, design and decorative arts.
- Grauman´s Egyptian Theater opens in Los Angeles. Its design is directly influenced by the discovery of Tutankhamen´s Tomb.
- Nosferatu, German Expressionist horror film by F. W. Murnau premiers.
- Walt Disney and his brother Roy found the Disney Company in Los Angeles.
- Henryk Berlewi, a Polish designer introduces an avant-garde philosophy called Mechano-faktura (using mechanical means to create texture).
- Hollywood’s first Technicolor film, Toll of the Sea, starring Anna May Wong (1905–1961), is released.
- British Broadcasting Company (BBC) was founded for the public.
- James Joyce’s “Ulysses” published in Paris.
- Two American scientists, Dr. Herbert McLean Evans and K.S. Bishop discovered vitamin E (named by Evans).
- Insulin is discovered by medical researcher Frederick Banting and research assistant Charles Best.
- Benito Mussolini is appointed prime minister of Italy.
- Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869 – 1948), better known to his followers as Mahatma, or “great soul,” was sent to jail. His offense: resisting to accept British control of India.
- The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) is formed and will eventually include Armenia, Azerbaijan, Byelorussia (now Belarus), Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan.
- Douglas Crawford McMurtrie designs McMurtrie Title typeface.
- Jakob Erbar designs, Lucina, Lumina, Lux, and Phosphor typefaces (through 1930).
- Rudolf Koch designs Neuland typeface (through 1923), a bold sans serif with an expressionist sensibility.
- Stanley Morison, type designer and typographer, joins Monotype Corporation in England.
- El Lissitzky publishes Topography of Typography.
- Kurt Schwitters, German artist, poet and typographer, publishes Merz magazine exploring the nexus between avant-garde art and functional design.
- Laszlo Moholy-Nagy publishes the essays “the New Typography” and “Typophoto”, which address advances in form and technique.
- Moholy-Nagy, Hungarian Constructivist, experiments with photograms and photoplastics.
- Staatliches Bauhaus in Weimar 1919-1923 is published by the Bauhaus in Weimar, with Walter Gropius and Laszlo Moholy-Nagy as editors.
- Vladimir Vladimirovich Mayakovsky and El Lissitzky publish For the Voice, a book of poetry designed to be read out loud in groups. The graphics, composed from type-case materials, serve as icons. The book is also unique in its tabular organizing system introduced by a tab with a symbolic device.
- Esso (Standard Oil Company) oval trademark is introduced.
- Bauhaus hosts first full-scale exhibition, which achieves international acclaim.
- Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup is introduced in the United States.
Art and Culture
- Abstract painting appears in Poland.
- Dada’s death notice appears in the Febuary 8th issue of the Freeman, New York, written by critic Vincent O’Sullivan.
- Giorgio de Chirico is declared first surrealist painter by Surrealists Andre Breton, Louis Aragon, and Paul Eluard.
- Henry Luce publishes the first issue of Time magazine, America’s first weekly news magazine.
- Sigmund Freud (Austrian neurologist and developer of psychoanalysis) publishes Das Ich und das Es (the Ego and the Id). His theories about the unconscious influenced Surrealism greatly.
- The Charleston dance became popular after appearing along with the song, “The Charleston,” by James P. Johnson in the Broadway musical Runnin’ Wild in 1923.
- The Weimar Republic, like many other European countries, had to face a severe economic downturn in the opening years of the decade, because of the enormous debt caused by the war. The crisis would culminate with a devaluation of the Mark in 1923, eventually leading to severe economic problems and, in the long term, favour the rise of the Nazi Party.
- Adolf Hitler’s beer-hall putch in Munich fails. He is sentenced to prison, during which time he writes his memoir/manifesto Mein Kampf (My Battle). Volume 1 of Mein Kampf was published in 1925 and Volume 2 in 1926.
- John Baird transmits silhouettes by television.
- Douglas Crawford McMurtrie designs Vanity Fair Capitals typefaces.
- Jakob Erbar designs Erbar typeface.
- A. Rodchenko design ten covers in the Mess Mend book series written by the Soviet author Jim Dollar (pseudonym for Marietta Shaginian). Using a standardized format, each cover, unique to its content, was printed in black and a second color.
- Austin Cooper designs collage-like London Electric Railway posters.
- Benjamin Peret and Pierre Naville found and edit the review La Revolution Surrealiste.
- Bund Deutcher Gebrauchsgraphiker (Alliance of German Graphic Artists) is formed. Its membership comprises four hundred of the best designers in the field.
- Harold Gray introduces his comis strip ”Little Orphan Annie” to the world in The Chicago Tribune.
- Theo van Doesburg (he is best known as the founder and leader of De Stijl) develops the theory of Elementarism, declaring the diagonal more dynamic than horizontal or vertical construction. This becomes one of the dominant directions of graphic design in the 20th century.
- Erte (pesudonym for Roman de Tirtoff), Russian art deco fashion illustrator and set designer, desings covers for Harper’s Bazaar magazine (until 1937).
- Max Burchartz designs Die Gute Reklame (Good Advertising) as a guideline for the practise of progressive advertising.
- The Rietveld Schröder House (Rietveld Schröderhuis) (also known as the Schröder House) in Utrecht was built in 1924 by Dutch architect Gerrit Rietveldt. It became an architectural landmark and The house is one of the best known examples of De Stijl-architecture and arguably the only true De Stijl building.
- The Wilhelm Marx House, one of the Germany’s first skyscrapers, is completed in Dusseldorf.
- The Bauhaus is informed by the Minister of Education that it will receive only half of its necessary funding. Walter Gropius and the Council of Masters announce that the Bauhaus will close by the end of March 1925.
Arts and Culture
- Andre Breton publishes Manifesto du Surrealisme (Surrealist Manifesto), influenced by writings of Sigmund Freud.
- Konstantin Stanislavsky publishes My Life in Art.
- El Lissitzky publishes The Isms of Art.
- First surrealist group exhibition, Exposition la peinture surrealiste, opens in Paris.
- Henryk Berlewi, Polish Constructivist, returns to Warsaw from Berlin, publishes Mechano Faktura (Mechano-texture), and founds the Group of Abstract Constructive Art.
- Paul Klee’s first one-person exhibition opens in Paris.
- Surrealism comes to Paris.
- The 1st Olympic Winter Games, were a winter multi-sport event which was held in 1924 in Chamonix, France.
- Candlestick Telephone GPO 150 was made of new Bakelite material and manufactured by general Post Office, England.
- Germany’s New Reichsmark (currency) is introduced, as a permanent replacement for the Papiermark.
- J. Edgar Hoover is appointed director of the FBI.
- Native Americans are granted full U.S. citizenship.
- V. I. Lenin dies and a total of 900,000 people viewed the leader’s lifeless body in Moscow. He had previously suffered from a stroke on three occasions. His death would create a struggle for power between Joseph Stalin, who eventually won, and Lenin’s original choice, Leon Trotsky (1879 – 1940).
- Frederic W. Goudy designs Frenchwood Ronde/ Italian Old Style typeface.
- Robert Hunter Middleton designs Ludlow Black typeface.
- Fortunato Depero created ”Futurist ” adverdisment for the Campari distillery (through 1933).
- Kurt Schwitters and Theo van Doesburg design Die Scheuche (the Scarecrow) constructivist children’s book that uses letterforms as characters.
- Otto Neurath creates Isotype (International System of Typographic Picture Education) is a method of showing social, technological, biological and historical connections in pictorial form. It was first known as the Vienna Method of Pictorial Statistics. He worked with Marie Reidemeister, who was responsible for translating collected data into visual terms.
Arts and Culture
- Sergei Eisenstein’s film Battleship Potemkin premiers. Supporting the Communist cause the film tells the story of the mutiny on the Russian ship Prince Potemkin during the 1905 uprising, and is considered one of the most important films in the history of silent pictures.
- 1st issue of “New Yorker” magazine published.
- Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes opens in Paris, it was dedicated to the display of modern decorative arts. The exhibition brought together thousands of designs from all over Europe and beyond.This marks the formal introduction of the art modern style (later known as Art Deco) “modern” style characterized by a streamlined classicism, geometric and symmetric compositions, and a sleek machine-age look.The enormous commercial success of Art Deco ensured that designers and manufacturers throughout Europe would continue to promote the style well into the 1930s.
- Benito Mussolini announces he is taking dictatorial powers over Italy.
- A. Hitler publishes Mein Kampf.
- Arthur Eric Rowton Gill design Golden Cockerel typeface.
- Frederic Warde designs Arrighi typeface.
- Herbert Bayer designs Universal Alphabet, an experiment of combining upper and lowercase characters into a single character set.
- Jan Van Krimpen designs Lutetia typeface.
- Victor Hammer designs Unical typeface.
Sources and Bibliography:
Alan and Isabella Livington: Dictionary of Graphic Design and Designers.
Catherine McDermott: 20th Century Design.
Steven Heller and Elinor Pettit: Graphics Design Time Line.