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  • Otis Fine Arts hosts a Visiting Artist lecture series featuring John Houck, a Los Angeles-based artist. Read more about him here.
    Contact: Soo Kim, skim@otis.edu
  • Jesse Benson (b. 1978) is an artist based in Los Angeles. Benson's complex practice is driven by the perversion of roles and representation that characterize his generational moment. In obsessively "skillful" objects like the Bureau Paintings, Catalog Page Paintings, Future Sculptures, and Repaintings, Benson constantly questions the authenticity of the document, the function of style, and the value of both art and artist. Benson is equally committed to a curatorial/organizational practice that openly overlaps and inspires his object production.

  • The Architecture/Landscape/Interiors Department at OTIS College of Art and Design is pleased to announce a lecture by Nick SeierupPrincipal | Design Director of Perkins+Will, Los Angeles, on Thursday, December 3, 2015.


  • Marisa Silver is the author most recently of the New York Times bestselling novel Mary Coin. Her other books include the novels No Direction Home and The God of War (a finalist for a Los Angeles Times Book Prize), as well as two story collections, Babe in Paradise and Alone with You. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker and been included in many anthologies, including The Best American Short Stories and The O. Henry Prize Stories. Silver lives in Los Angeles.

  • Jesse Lerner is a filmmaker based in Los Angeles.  His short films Natives (1991, with Scott Sterling), T.S.H. (2004) and Magnavoz (2006) and the feature-length experimental documentaries Frontierland/Fronterilandia (1995, with Rubén Ortiz-Torres), Ruins (1999) The American Egypt (2001), Atomic Sublime (2010) and The Absent Stone (2013, with Sandra Rozental) have won numerous prizes at film festivals in the United States, Latin America and Japan.

  • Otis faculty member Dana Berman Duff will present a program of short 16mm and digital films in her "Catalogue" series.

  • Performing the Grid is an exhibition that brings together an intergenerational group of artists and cultural producers that utilize the grid as a performative strategy to examine, challenge and position philosophical, political, social, domestic, corporeal, and mythical perspectives. Rosalind Kraus famously wrote that the grid “functions to declare the modernity of modern art” in her 1979 essay, Grids.


History of Graphic Design

A Sampling of Materials of Interest

Arranged in chronological order. Most of these items are located in Special Collections.

Two Winchester Bibles

The Two Winchester Bibles by Walter Oakeshott (12th century)
A scholarly study of 12th-century illumination. Clarendon Press, 1981.

Location: Special Collections

Codex Tro-Cortesianus

Codex Tro-Cortesianus
The Maya wrote their beliefs, history, and astronomy in special books that are now known as codices. We have facsimiles edition of some.

Location: Special Collections F 1435 C653

Göttingen Model Book

Göttingen Model Book (ca. 1450)
This book provides instructions for how to illumniate the Gutenberg Bible. Our copy is a facsimile and includes a translation.

Location: ND 2980 G6

Caxton & the Polychronicon of 1482

Caxton & the Polychronicon of 1482
The book, beautifully designed and letterpress printed in 1938 by the Grabhorn Press, contains an an actual original page from the Caxton's Polychronicon.

Location: Special Collections Z 232 C38 K87

Astronomicum Caesareum

Astronomicum Caesareum by Peter Apian and Michael Ostendorfer (1540)
A Renaissance astronomy manual from 1540 containing rotating paper wheels which demonstrate planetary motion and movements of the stars. Ours is the facsimile edition published in 1967.

Location: Special Collections Oversize QB41 A64 1540ab


Arrighi's Operina by John Benson and Juan de Yciar's Arte Subtilissima

Arrighi's Operina by John Benson and Juan de Yciar's Arte Subtilissima (mid-1500s)
Facsimiles of illustrated writing manuals typical of the mid-1500s.

Location: Z 43 A3 L8333
Location: Z 43 A3 I3 1960

L'Apocalypse Figurée by Jean Duvet

L'Apocalypse Figurée by Jean Duvet (1561)
Illustrations for Jean de Tournes printing of the 22 chapters of the Book of Revelation from 1561. Ours is a facsimile edition by Eugrammia Press, published in 1962.

Location: Special Collections

Type Specimen of J.F. Rosart (1768)

The Type Specimen of J.F. Rosart (1768)
Rosart was one of the two main typefounders in Brussels in the late 18th century. This book is a facsimile of the 1768 edition.

Location: Z 250 R78


The Pencil of Nature by William Henry Fox Talbot (1844)
Facsimile of book of early photography

Location: Special Collections TR 144 T2 1969

Harper's Bazaar

Harper's Bazaar (1867- )
The Library owns several samples of women's magazines, which were especially popular during the 19th Century.

Location: Special Collections

La Fontaine's Fables

La Fontaine's Fables (1868)
Translated into English verse by Walter Thornbury. Profusely illustrated by Gustave Doré.

Location: Special Collections PQ 1811 E3 T4


Caricature and Other Comic Art (1875)

Location: Special Collections NC 1325 P3 1877


The Dictionary of Needlework (1882)

Location: Special Collections TT 750 C372 1882


The Growth of Industrial Arts (1886)

Location: Special Collections


Figure Drawing for Children (1893)

Location: Special Collections NC 765 R57 1893

Kelmscott Chaucer

The Kelmscott Chaucer (1896)
Willam Morris produced what is considered one of the great books in the history of printing. Ours is the facsimile edition published in 1958.

Location: Z 232 M87 C52 1958


Phil May’s Gutter-Snipes (1896)

Location: Special Collections NC 1479 M38 1896


Moko/Maori Tattooing (1896)
Ours is the facsimile edition published in 1969.

Location: Special Collections GN 667 N947

Aubrey Beardsley

Aubrey Beardsley (1872-1898)
Described as the most original genius of British art in the 1890s, the Library owns many books with reproductions of Aubrey Beardsley's book designs, including Salome and Le morte d'Arthur:

Location: Special Collections Oversize NC 1115 B395
Location: NC 978.5 M34 B42


Cosmopolitan and Scribner’s (individual issues 1897/1898)
Fashion magazines

Location: Special Collections


The Rossettis (1900)

Location: Special Collections ND 497 R8 C3 1990


Fashion in Paris (1898)

Location: Special Collections GT 887 U8 1898


Two Centuries of Costume in America (1903)

Location: Special Collections GT 605 E2


The Gibson Book: A Collection of the Published Works of Charles Dana Gibson, Volume 2 (1907)

Location: Special Collections Oversize NC 139 G42 G4 1907


Die Traumenden Knaben (1907)
Ours is the facsimile edition published in 1968.

Location: Special Collections


Alphabets Old and New (ca. 1910)

Location: Special Collections NK 3600 D22


Raemaekers’ Cartoons (1916)

Location: Special Collections NC 1429 R33 R4 1916


Boyhood Photos of J.-h. Lartigue
Facsimile of photos from the 1910s and 1920s published in 1966.

Location: Special Collections TR 140 L375 L37 1966


The Delineator (1917-1927)
Fashion Magazine

Location: Special Collections


America in the War (1918)

Location: Special Collections NC 1429 R33 A43 1918

Liberty Loan

The Liberty Loan Poster: A Textbook for Amateurs (1918)
Joseph Pennell.

Location: Special Collections


War Posters  (1920)

Location: Special Collections NC 1810 H3 1920


Red Cartoons from the Daily Worker (2 copies; 1926-1929)

Location: Special Collections NC 1763 C6 D3 1926
Location: Special Collections NC 1763 C6 D3 1928


Art-Goût-Beauté (1920-1933)
Luxurious fashion magazine published from 1920 to 1933. Unpaginated (29pp.), illustrated with 16 hand-colored pochoir designs (incl. cover, shown above, cropped to emphasise cover image) and 5 full page advertisements as well as color endpapers reproducing a design available on crepe de chine fabric. Text in French.

Location: Special Collections


Commercial Art Magazine (loose issues 1930s)

Location: Special Collections

Advertising Arts

Advertising Arts (14 issues from the early 1930s)
"An important historical document in defining the evolution from work-a-day commercial art to sophisticated graphic design."

Location: Special Collections


Specimens of Type in use at the Kynoch Press (1934)

Location: Special Collections Z 250 K96 1934


Fashions Art, Volume 1, No. 1 (1934)

Location: Special Collections TT 500 F27 1934


Printing Types: Their History (2 Volumes, 1937)

Location: Special Collections Z 250 A2 U6 1937


Modern Publicity (3 volumes from the 1930s and 1940s)
Annual of Art and Industry, a london-based association. Show examples of posters, illustrations, packaging, letterheads, etc. from the period.

Location: Special Collections NC 997 A1 M6

Print: America's Graphic Design Magazine

Print: America's Graphic Design Magazine (1942- )
Library has a complete run from 1942 to the present.

Location: Magazine Stacks (alphabetically arranged)


Alphabet and Image, Volumes 1-4; 5-8  (1946-1948)

Location: Special Collections


Tschichold (1949)

Location: Special Collections Z 43 S36 1949


Printing and Graphic Arts (2 volumes, 1953-1954)

Location: Special Collections AP 2 P75

Portfolio Magazine

Portfolio Magazine (1950s)
Art director: Alexey Brodovitch
The Library owns 3 issues from the early 1950s.

Location: Special Collections

Great Ideas of Western Men

Great Ideas of Western Man (1950-1975)
Portfolio of booklets about famous thinkers created by well known designers for the Container Corportion of America.

Location: Special Collections

Best of Flair

Best of Flair (1950s)
Extravagantly produced magazine created by socialite Fleur Cowles.

Location: Special Collections AC 2 F585 1996


Collagious Material (issues 1-6; 1965)

Location: Special Collections


TM (1968)
Exhibition catalog of a retrospective of American trademarks from 1945-1963.

Location: Special Collections T 223 V2 T5 1968


On Seven Shakespearean Tragedies (1969)

Location: Special Collections PR 2983 K47 1969


Peter Max Paints America (1973)

Location: Special Collections NC 1850 M38 A25


Please request Special Collections materials from the Library Director or Circulation Manager.