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Edward Kauffer

 (1890 - 1954)
Edward Mc Knight Kauffer was active/lived in New York, California, Montana / England.  Edward Kauffer is known for poster designs, abstract painting.

Edward Kauffer

Biography from the Archives of askART

Biography photo for Edward Kauffer
Known for his poster designs in the early 20th Century that combine Bauhaus and Art-Deco styles, Edward Kauffer was born in Montana and worked in London as a poster designer from 1914 to 1940 before working in New York City. 

In 1915, he began work for the London Transport System whose overseeing draftsman, Harry Beck, "was obsessed by the need for every element of London Transport's activities to be designed - and maintained - to the highest possible standard.  . . . Among the first artists to create posters for London Underground was the US-born painter Edward McKnight Kauffer (1890-1954) who was commissioned by Pick in 1915, a year after his arrival in London. Obsessed by cubism, Kauffer introduced many elements of the emerging modern art movement to his posters in a bold, but fluid style."  (London Transport Museum)

Described as "designing excellent posters conceived in the modern decorative manner" (Klein 59), Kauffer was the type of artist Beck wanted because he had talents much in demand in that time period when advertising that reached increasingly fast-moving people needed to be bold and simple and easily read.

Edward Kauffer studied at the Art Institute of Chicago. His work is in the Cooper-Hewett National Design Museum and the London Transport Museum.

Dan Klein, All Color Book of Art Deco
Peter Hastings Falk, Editor, Who Was Who in American Art
London Transport Museum,

Biography from the Archives of askART
Biography photo for Edward Kauffer
Born in Great Falls, Montana on Dec. 14, 1890 Edward Kauffer was in San Francisco in 1910-12, and studied at the Institute of Art and worked at Paul Elder's Gallery.

Before 1912 he used the middle name Leland.  McKnight was then used in homage to a benefactor whom he met at Elder's.  His modernist oils on view at Elder's were considered avant garde but received high praise in the San Francisco Call newspaper.

He then studied at the Art Institute of Chicaog and in Paris at Académie Moderne until the outbreak of WWI.   In 1914 he relocated to London, England and worked there until the outbreak of WWII.

Returning to the U.S., he died in NYC on Oct. 22, 1954.

Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
Interview with the artist or his/her family; Artists of the American West (Doris Dawdy); Ferdinand Perret Files; NY Times, 10-23-1954 (obituary).

Nearly 20,000 biographies can be found in Artists in California 1786-1940 by Edan Hughes and is available for sale ($150). For a full book description and order information please click here.

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About  Edward Kauffer

Born:  1890 - Great Falls, Montana
Died:   1954 - New York City, New York
Known for:  poster designs, abstract painting