Poster, Dylan, 1966
Milton Glaser’s 1966 poster of Bob Dylan’s silhouette in profile with kaleidoscope hair has become —next to his iconic I (heart) New York logo—the designer’s most recognizable image. The folded poster, which accompanied the 1967 record album, Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits, was Glaser’s more corporate answer to the psychedelic posters of the 1960s. It was less raw than those of Wes Wilson or Victor Moscoso and much more beautiful. Glaser has told the story of how the image emerged from two stylistic conventions: a cutout silhouetted self portrait by Marcel Duchamp and Islamic forms and colors, which together created something that was “uniquely American.”
Glaser has been the dean of American graphic design since the 1970s and 1980s, and certainly after the death of Paul Rand in 1996, whose mantle in some respects he inherited. Glaser, like Rand, is known for his intelligent approach to design, saying the most with minimal means. His ubiquitous I [heart] New York logo parallels Rand’s rebus corporate identity for IBM.
Trained at the Cooper Union (1948–51), Glaser founded the widely influential Push Pin Studios in New York with fellow graduates Seymour Chwast, Edward Sorel, and Reynold Ruffins. Push Pin Studios celebrated eclectic and eccentric design in an era dominated by Swiss rationalism. In the late 1960s, Glaser, with Clay Felker, created New York Magazine; Glaser served as its president and design director until 1977. In 1974, he founded Milton Glaser Inc., which produces corporate and print identity programs. According to Glaser’s website, as of 2007 he has designed more than 300 posters, interiors, and identities for restaurants, supermarkets, and hotels. In 1983, together with Walter Bernard, Glaser created WBMG, a design studio dedicated to magazine and newspaper identities including ParisMatch, the Nation, Esquire, and Jardin des Modes. Glaser has also taught at the School of Visual Arts in New York City and has been the subject of many museum exhibitions. In 2004, he received the National Design Award for lifetime achievement.
At the time of proposed acquisition, the museum holds about 50 Glaser posters and printed materials (including Push Pin graphics) ranging in date from the 1950s to the 1990s. The poster under consideration, which the curators have wanted to add to the collection for some time, had proven elusive until this current opportunity.
Its dimensions are
84 x 55.9 cm (33 1/16 in. x 22 in.)
It is signed
Signed [imprinted] in white on black ground, in oval, upper right corner: MILTON GLASER
Cite this object as
Poster, Dylan, 1966; USA; offset lithograph on white wove paper; 84 x 55.9 cm (33 1/16 in. x 22 in.); Gift of Richard Kusack; 2007-24-1