Reader Don O’Hara sent us a few additional iterations of the Jem “Classic Series” we featured last week.
Milton Glaser was hired by Deluxe Communications Corporation/Jem to design a set of LP sleeves for oldies releases they called The Classic Series.
Milton Glaser’s menagerie of figures for the School of Visual Arts, 1971.
I’m always interested to see how different artists interpret of the same source material. Zach featured James McMullan’s boxed Alexandria Quartet some months ago, but I’d forgotten that Milton Glaser also created book jackets for at least two volumes (Justine and Balthazar) of Lawrence Durrell’s tetrology for Pocket Books in 1969; I can’t determine whether he also designed jackets for Clea and Mountolive.
While McMullan’s work from the early 1960s is close in spirit to the evocative illustration of his colleagues Robert Weaver and Jerome Martin, Glaser’s late 1960s take shows a pop/psych style then at its height. The art is very much in keeping with other work that Glaser was doing at the time, with its flowing curvilinear lines and high contrast colors, which also, intentional or not, indicate some churning emotional content.
Several incarnations of Vladimir Nabokov’s most lovable protagonist, Timofey Pavlovich Pnin.
Another riff on Milton Glaser’s indefatigable Dylan poster, here for a book by Roots drummer Questlove. It’s interesting the jacket designer also uses a Baby Teeth-esque typeface (though it looks a little wonky?). Anyway, some amusing stories have been bubbling up from this particular volume, including (on Slate) The Time I Went Roller Skating With Prince. Some of earlier, amusingly candid versions of these stories can also be found at the website Questlove’s Celebrity Stories.
Wilfrid Sheed, who died in 2011, was a sharp, flinty prose stylist too often overshadowed by his more explicitly experimental or social-commentary-oriented contemporaries. The acerbic flavor of his art may be best enjoyed in Max Jamison (1970). The next novel, People Will Always Be Kind (named after a line in a Siegfried Sassoon poem) was less heralded but continued to refine his style and adapt it to the world around him (somewhat comparably to Saul Bellow’s middle work). In Dwight Garner’s sensitive appreciation, he emphasizes Sheed’s biting essay style:
“Mushy reviews are a breach of faith,” he declared, and the skin on his compositions was salt-crusted. One review began: “Of Ezra Pound, as of Bobby Fischer, all that can decently be said is that his colleagues admire him.” Another began this way: “Scott Fitzgerald is a sound you like to hear at certain times of the day, say at four in the afternoon and again late at night, and at other times it makes you slightly sick.” Another stated: “Books about suicide make lousy gifts.”
He wanted to live in a world in which one could find “Gershwin playing all night in penthouses, while George Kaufman fired one-liners into the guests and Harpo scrambled eggs in their hats.” Milton Glaser’s cover, with its punchy color combined with austere but evocative line, seems neatly suited to such a world.
Milton Glaser illustrates the stark contrast between two film stars of 1969 — Dustin Hoffman and John Wayne.
Forever potent and still open to interpretation despite its ubiquity, the skeleton has surfaced many times in the early work of Milton Glaser.