Summer 2004

Bartram’s Bauhaus

Bauhaus, Modernism & the Illustrated Book

By Alan Bartram
British Library Publishing Office, £25, Yale University Press, $35

. . . Bartram’s concise history and brief descriptions of canonical modern designers’ books is a useful, though spotty, introduction to the field. Useful because his solid bibliographical and methodological information is needed; spotty because this book is by no means inclusive even within the limited area defined by the Bauhaus and New Typography and what influenced this phenomena . . .

Bartram is a respected book designer who injects an intimate working knowledge into his analysis of these masterworks. Yet some of his shorter entries (or extended captions) for certain individual books are too sketchy. Also, some of his more anecdotal references seem incidental and unnecessary. Nonetheless, students will come away with a basic understanding of Modern book design, and teachers would be wise to use this as an introductory text . . .

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