Paul Schuitema, flyer for P. van Berkel Ltd. Rotterdam, circa 1928
An extensive collection of the graphic design of the Dutch designer Paul Schuitema (1897-1973), noted for his innovative use of photomontage and color is currently available from the rare book firm, Ars Libri
Paul Schuitema, born in the Netherlands, was a graphic designer proficient in typography, furniture-making, architecture, photography, painting, lithography and film. Schuitema, started out as a painter, studying at the Academie voor Beeldende Kunsten in Rotterdam. After the first World War, Schuitema left painting and embraced early modernism: his interest in mass production and technology lead him to apply the principals of de Stijl, Constructivism and Bauhaus to advertising and print media. He was a member of Kurt Schwitter's Ring neue Werbegestalter (Circle of New Advertising Designers), which included contemporaries Piet Zwart, László Moholy-Nagy, Herbert Bayer and Jan Tschichold.
With his experimental use of photography, Schuitema made a significant contribution to the New Photography movement, later becoming one of the first teachers at the Academy of Visual Art in The Hague. It was there that he taught design and photography.
Complex and various, the Ars Libri collection includes advertising brochures and pamphlets for industry and government agencies, flyers, pamphlets, and announcement cards, cover designs for magazines and books, letterhead stationery, postage stamps, and other items, covering the whole of his his career. Schuitema’s commissions from the manufacturers Berkel (who's advertising work he is best know for), Gispen, Boele & van Eesteren, and de Vries Robbé & Co. are all represented in depth, including proofs and signed examples.
Also included is a rare early woodcut by the artist, a group of posters from his later career (some of them signed), and several large-format photographs. The collection is accompanied by a small group of reference books and exhibition catalogues on Schuitema and his work.