[Tear Sheet with Advertisement for Beck Shoes]

Murray Duitz American

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 852

Every advertisement is a collaboration—and often a compromise. In the American market, as postwar budgets for print ads ballooned, photographers ceded creative control to art directors by degrees. More and more, ad messaging was conveyed by quippy copy, with photography relegated to an illustrative role. Professionals like Murray Duitz supplied the image components of larger designs, essentially working à la carte. As arresting as his abrupt view of a leather shoe (1975.602.2.2) may seem, its ultimate fate is important to note. In the final design for the Washington Post, the sculptural beauty and confrontational scale of this shoe are noticeably neutered. The result is a straightforward appeal from one executive suite to others, with little left to the imagination.

[Tear Sheet with Advertisement for Beck Shoes], Murray Duitz (American, 1917–2010), Halftone

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