Beautiful Magazine Art – Architectural Forum Cover Pieces

From the 1910’s up until 1933, Architectural Forum magazine utilized a uniform format for the design of its covers; a small brilliantly colored architectural rendering set like a jewel in the center of an otherwise unadorned background. Sometimes these renderings would be of streetscapes, other times a specific building and still others a single architectural detail such as a door or a window grill. These renderings are only a few inches in size, but they are, when closely examined, remarkably detailed and the plainness of the surrounding coverĀ makes the artwork all the more striking. Unfortunately, the publication did not make it a practice to credit the artist or artists of the works so the names of those who produced these designs has eluded me, but they are quite something and I thought it would be nice to present a few representative examples of them here today for your enjoyment. Architectural Forum proves that you can judge a book by its cover!

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5 Responses to Beautiful Magazine Art – Architectural Forum Cover Pieces

  1. mark says:

    The neoclasical image from June 1932 is the rear facade of the Cleveland Museum of Art.
    Is there an archive of Architectural Forum that can be accessed?

    • Steve says:

      Thanks Mark for the info and comment. I am not aware of any archive as such other than library holdings. I’ve been building my own over the last few years via old bookstores and eBay. They’re really great magazines and it would be wonderful if there was an online source.

  2. David Ko says:

    The Architectural Forum is by far my favorite and I slowly acquired the entire set. It had a strange format where the monthly publication came in 2 separate issues: Design and Business. Design was a pictorial and Business was all charts and data.

  3. Sarah says:

    Love your story and the gorgeous images. Any chance you have the Sept 1933 issue? I am looking for an article by Charles Loring on the (then) recently constructed Cram-designed U.S. Post Office and Courthouse in Boston, Massachusetts. Would REALLY appreciate it.

  4. Spencer van der Zee says:

    Hello all,

    I recently acquired a very large collection of 1930’s – 1950’s Architectural Forum magazines at an estate sale. The majority are in great shape. Lots of wonderful art and interesting covers. I’d love to give you all a chance at them before selling them on eBay. If you are interested, please email me: spencervanderzee@gmail.com

    *I also have back issues of Interiors Magazine, Town and Country, Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, and many more from the same era. It is a huge collection!

    Thank you

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