Textiles & Advertising Work

His elegant line and imaginative conceptions brought him many offers from the commercial world. Textile manufacturers and advertising agencies wanted his by-now famous style to sell their products. Although he disliked commercial work, it paid well, and in the 1940s and beyond Steinberg was contributing to the support of his parents and his sister’s family, first in Bucharest and then in France. His practice was to demand high fees for such work, the remuneration tempering his aversion. Thus he designed textiles for Patterson Fabrics, New York, also printed as wallpaper for the company’s affiliate, Piazza Prints; at least one other design was produced by Greeff Fabrics.

<em>Aviary</em>, c. 1950-51. Screen print on paper for Piazza Prints. Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, New York; Gift of Harvey Smith and Benjamin Piazza.
Aviary, c. 1950-51. Screen print on paper for Piazza Prints. Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, New York; Gift of Harvey Smith and Benjamin Piazza.
<em>Cowboys</em>, c. 1952. Cotton textile for Patterson Fabrics. Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, New York; Gift of Patterson-Piazza, Inc.
Cowboys, c. 1952. Cotton textile for Patterson Fabrics. Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, New York; Gift of Patterson-Piazza, Inc.
<em>Steinberg’s Flowers</em>, c. 1950-55. Screen print on paper for Piazza Prints. Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, New York.
Steinberg’s Flowers, c. 1950-55. Screen print on paper for Piazza Prints. Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, New York.
<em>Horses</em>, 1951. Screen print on paper for Piazza Prints. Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, New York; Gift of Harvey Smith and Benjamin Piazza.
Horses, 1951. Screen print on paper for Piazza Prints. Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, New York; Gift of Harvey Smith and Benjamin Piazza.
<em>Paris Opera</em>, c. 1950-53. Screen print on paper for Greeff Fabrics. Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, New York; Gift of Mrs. Howard Adams.
Paris Opera, c. 1950-53. Screen print on paper for Greeff Fabrics. Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, New York; Gift of Mrs. Howard Adams.
<em>Trains</em>, 1949. Screen print on paper for Piazza Prints. Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, New York; Gift of Harvey Smith.
Trains, 1949. Screen print on paper for Piazza Prints. Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, New York; Gift of Harvey Smith.
<em>Views of Paris</em>, 1946-49. Silk textile for Patterson Fabrics. The Saul Steinberg Foundation.
Views of Paris, 1946-49. Silk textile for Patterson Fabrics. The Saul Steinberg Foundation.
<em>The Wedding</em>, c. 1950. Silk textile for Patterson Fabrics. Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, New York; Gift of Robert A. and Lynne C. Adams.
The Wedding, c. 1950. Silk textile for Patterson Fabrics. Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, New York; Gift of Robert A. and Lynne C. Adams.

Commissions from advertising agencies arrived as early as 1943, when Steinberg had been in the US for barely a year. Many of the ads were published in The New Yorker, as well as Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Fortune, Time, and other mass-market journals. Sometimes he added collage elements, rubber stamps, or reused or adapted earlier ink drawings;17 elsewhere, he created a new line drawing for an ad that often combined the line work with a photograph of the client’s product—alone or integrated into a Steinbergian conceit.


Advertisement for D’Orsay Perfume, 1946.
Advertisement for D’Orsay Perfume, 1946.
Advertisement for Emerson television, 1955.
Advertisement for Emerson television, 1955.
Advertisement for Noilly Prat, 1955.
Advertisement for Noilly Prat, 1955.
Advertisement for Simplicity Patterns, 1955.
Advertisement for Simplicity Patterns, 1955.
Advertisement for Lewin Mathes tubing and pipes, 1956-57.
Advertisement for Lewin Mathes tubing and pipes, 1956-57.
Advertisement for Simplicity Patterns, published in <em>The New York Times Magazine</em>, November 6, 1955.
Advertisement for Simplicity Patterns, published in The New York Times Magazine, November 6, 1955.
Two pages from an advertising brochure for Lincoln automobiles, 1959.
Two pages from an advertising brochure for Lincoln automobiles, 1959.
Two pages from an advertising brochure for Lincoln automobiles, 1959.
Two pages from an advertising brochure for Lincoln automobiles, 1959.

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