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Out and about with Special Collections

By L ( Elizabeth ) Lawes, on 29 February 2016

An item from our Little Magazines collection is soon to feature as part of a new BBC Arts documentary on the avant-garde, ‘anti-art’ Dada movement. This morning I couriered our June 1917 (in facsimile) copy of Neue Jugend magazine to Neville Brody Associates graphic design studio in Islington for it to form the focus of a conversation between Neville Brody and Jim Moir (aka surrealist comic Vic Reeves), who is presenting the documentary. Neville Brody is famous for his design of culturally iconic publications from the 1980s such as The Face and Arena and for designing record covers for the likes of Cabaret Voltaire and Depeche Mode. His work is hugely influenced by the experimental typography of the Dadaists.

Neue Jugend magazine was produced in Berlin in 1916-17 by the brothers Wieland and Helmut Herzfeld (who later changed his name to John Heartfield, now remembered as a pioneer of twentieth century graphic design) and is a prime example of radical Dadaist design with its geometric layout and bold type. It also features important text works by the painter and caricaturist George Grosz. Original copies of this magazine are extremely rare: given its anti-authoritarian stance, most were destroyed by the authorities in wartime Berlin. Facsimile editions such as ours are also uncommon and this title is just one example of many radical artists’ magazines from the early part of the century in our amazing collection.

neue jugendNeue Jugend front cover (George Grosz)

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