Cooper Hewitt says...
Polish-born painter, muralist and illustrator Witold Gordon (American b. Poland, 1885 - 1968) studied at the École des Beaux Arts before moving to the United States.
The modernist painter was commissioned by designer Donald Deskey to create two murals for Radio City Music Hall in 1932, including “The History of Cosmetics” for the Ladies Lounge. He was later tapped to create a 6,000 square foot mural for the Food Zone at the New York World's Fair in 1939, which is captured in postcards from the fair as well as commemorative film footage and photographs.
Gordon created stylish illustrations for The Travels of Marco Polo (New York: H. Liveright, ca. 1930). His skill as a graphic designer is apparent in his poster for the 1932 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York, the first winter games held in the United States.
Regional architecture and typography were a perpetual source of inspiration. Conde Nast commissioned the artist to create a series of gouaches entitled “New York Storefronts you Never See,” which were published in Vanity Fair in July 1934. In the summers of 1939 and 1940, Gordon traveled around the Southeastern United States painting what he considered to be distinctively American homes and businesses; the series of 35 gouaches was presented at The Museum of Modern Art, New York in 1941, in an exhibition titled "American Scene." Subsequently, Gordon was commissioned by The New Yorker magazine to create a series of covers illustrating New York City’s idiosyncratic storefronts.
Gordon died on Long Island in 1968, at age 83.