Magazine article The New Yorker

Think Visual

Magazine article The New Yorker

Think Visual

Article excerpt

In Chip Kidd's recent comic novel, "The Cheese Monkeys," a wide-eyed undergrad of the fifties gets his middlebrow aesthetic assumptions knocked out of him by a charismatic art professor. Kidd, the reigning panjandrum of book design, has also edited "Peanuts: The Art of Charles M. Schulz," a handsome volume devoted to the century's best-known comic strip. Together, the two titles form a tribute to American popular taste during the Cold War era. A few other recent books offer insights into the homey masterpieces you're more likely to encounter at yard sales than at the Met.

An art museum is, after all, an unlikely venue for the works showcased in PAINT BY NUMBER (Princeton Architectural Press), by William L. Bird, Jr. But, in their mid-century heyday, these careful renditions of street scenes and wintry farmscapes won prizes in art contests, and they can now be seen at the National Museum of American History, in Washington, D. …

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