Monday, April 14, 2014

Creator: Gustav Jensen

Gustav Boerge Jensen
born April 8, 1898, Copenhagen, Denmark

Gustav Boerge Jensen was a designer who appreciated letterforms and did his own lettering, which appeared on printed matter and products.
Cover from Design & Paper XII

New York Passenger List
Jensen departed Copenhagen on June 15, 1919, aboard the S.S. Frederik VIII. He arrived in New York City June 26. The passenger list said his occupation was clerk, and he planned to stay six months at either the 23rd Street YMCA or the Hotel Pennsylvania. He traveled with Henning Mogens Dichmann.

August 1922
Bonnier’s Advertisement

Printers’ Ink Monthly
Volume 8, 1924
242 Japan Paper Company. Gustav B. Jensen. 1st Honorable Mention.

The National Edition of Advertising Arts & Crafts
Lee & Kirby, 1924

1925 New York State Census
Jensen and his wife, Ellen, resided at 120 East 19th Street, in Manhattan, New York City. His occupation was listed as artist.

Lee & Kirby, 1926
Jensen, Gustav B., 42 West 39th, Wis 6680.
Borders, Decoration, Design, Direct by Mail Art, Layout, Lettering, Still Life, Color.

Lee & Kirby, 1927
Jensen, Gustav B., 33 E. 38th, Ash 0294 New York City.
Borders, Decoration, Design, Direct by Mail Art, Layout, Lettering, Still Life, Color.

Newspaper Advertisement
Hardman Pianos
From PM, September 1936

Volume 43, 1928
Five Honorable Mentions were also awarded as follows: Hans Holsing, Gustav B. Jensen, John Frew, Antonio Petrucelli and Robert Foster all of New York City.

New York Passenger List
Jensen departed Copenhagen on August 8, 1928, aboard the S.S. United States. He arrived in New York City August 19. The passenger list said his occupation was clerk and address 333 East 43rd Street. He traveled with his wife, Ellen.

The New York Times
September 23, 1928
Seven well-known designers have been invited by the Art Alliance of American to submit designs for a perfume bottle in a competition for prizes of $500 and $250....The object of the competition is to obtain an American design for a perfume bottle that will compare favorably with the beautiful modern French bottles designed by Lalique and other famous artists. The competing designers are William Zorach, Robert Locher, Buk Ulreich, Walter Teague, Edward Steichen, Claggett Wilson and Gustav Jensen....

The New York Times
October 6, 1928
First prize of $500 in the competition sponsored by the Art Alliance of America...has been awarded to Claggett Wilson. The bottle, a simple cylindrical form with a silver cone stopper, is to be developed in blue and crystal.

The second prize of $250 went to Gustave [sic] Jensen for a series of simple modernistic designs....

Imperial Trademark
(image is flopped)
From PM, September 1936

Volumes 7-8, 1929
The packages shown in the accompanying illustration were designed by Gustav B. Jensen for the Gilbert Products Corporation.

Publishers Weekly
Volume 115, Part 2, 1929
Toilers of the Sea by Victor Hugo. Illus. by Gustav Jensen

Brooklyn Daily Eagle
February 24, 1929
The Art Alliance of America is holding its annual decorative arts exhibition at the Art Center, 65 E. 56th st., New York City....Other exhibitors are Lee Hager, the Snow Looms, Gustave [sic] Jensen...
Advertising & Selling
April 17, 1929
Advertisement; included in a list of designers for Innes Alphabets

The New Yorker
May 18, 1929
“Eighth Annual Exhibition of Advertising Art”
…One of the high spots of the craft we found in the Literary Digest ad done by Gustav B. Jensen….

Printers’ Ink Monthly
May 1929
Advertisement; included in a list of designers for Innes Alphabets

Brooklyn Daily Eagle
October 27, 1929
“Art Alliance Shows Work Done by Fine Arts Members”
…two of Irene Weir’s lively Normandy peasant groups, a sepia head by Gustav Jensen, were especially noted in the water-color group.

Paul Merrick Hollister
Harper & Brothers, 1930

R.R. Bowker, 1930
Jensen, Gustav, 33 East 38th St., New York, N.Y.

Gustav B. Jensen, Second Honorable Mention

The New York Times Magazine
March 9, 1930
“Harmony Rules in Interior Decoration”
…Distinctive designed toilet sets are also shown—one by Paul Frankl, white with a delicate silver inlaid line ornamentation, and a black and white set by Gustav Jensen. Both of these ensembles of hand mirrors and brushes utilize the rectangular and circular forms to suggest the line design with which they are ornamented; and they are styled for ultra-smart dressing rooms....

The New York Times
April 13, 1930 
This year the annual series of lectures on art in advertising, conducted by the Art Directors’ Club of New York, will deal exclusively with “styling” as applied to: …(3) the advertising page, Gustav Jensen, industrial designer, April 28…

The New York Times
May 3, 1930
“Art in Advertising Wins Honor Awards”
Awards in the annual exhibition of advertising art arranged by the Art Directors Club at the Art Centre, 65 East Fifty-sixth Street, were announced yesterday....
...Gustav B. Jensen, second honorable mention, for his tooth paste tubs for the Gilbert Products Corporation.

July 8, 1930
Hand Telephone
Photo from PM, September 1936

The American Architect
Volume 139, 1931
Standardized Monel Metal Kitchen Sinks!
new beauty…one-piece construction…more working surface…designed by Gustav Jensen

Brooklyn Daily Eagle
April 19, 1931
…This is the first large general exhibition of the society, and among the well-known exhibitors will be: …Gustave [sic] Jensen, exhibiting a kitchen sink, ceramic mask and a group of silver….

Photo from PM, September 1936

…Among the graphic art exhibits will be a series of modern advertisements executed by Ellen M. Kern, Henrietta Reiss, Vahan Hugopian, Lucien Bernhard and Gustave [sic] Jensen. Also in this section will be featured a group of illustrations by Rockwell Kent for the as yet unpublished “Beowoulf” and other books.

May 2, 1931 through July 1, 1931
American Union of Decorative Artists and Craftsmen

Brooklyn Daily Eagle
May 3, 1931
...Among the members who are included in the present exhibition are Rockwell Kent, Lee Simonson, Egmont Ehrens, Joseph Urban, Paul T. Frankl, Anton Breuhl, Gustave [sic] Jensen,, Kem Weber, Donald Desky, Wolfgang and Pola Hoffman and Alexander Kochinsky....

The New York Times
May 3, 1931
“Arts and Crafts Attuned to the Hour”
Exhibition at Brooklyn Museum Shows Designs Adapted to the Latest Needs of Moderns
…The exhibition in its wide inclusiveness covers also a monel metal kitchen sink designed by Gustav Jensen….
At the Gallery of Pynson Printers, in the Times Annex, has been installed a fine little exhibition of work that has appeared in the various issues of the Colophon, a beautifully prepared quarterly, whose fifth number was issued recently. This quarterly represents about the last word in typography and reproduction, as developed to a high pint of excellence in America.

...cover and Colophon designs by Gustav Jensen, Donald McKay, Joseph Sinel and Edward A. Wilson….

November 11, 1931
November 1931
Cover Illustration and Lettering

Advertising & Selling
November 25, 1931
“Architectural Forum Contest for New Format Is Announced”
Jurors...Gustav Jensen and Frederic W. Goudy, typographic experts...

December 1, 1931
Gordon Congdon King
Doubleday, 1932
Designed and illustrated by Gustav B. Jensen

The American Printer
April 1932
To those who have seen the last few “Printing for Commerce” exhibitions of the American Institute of Graphic Arts in any of the numerous cities in which they have been shown, the name and work of Gustav Jensen, designer of this month’s cover, will require no introduction. Pieces designed by Mr. Jensen and produced by the Aldus Printers and other printing houses have been among the “high spots” of these exhibitions annually for five years or more.

Born in Denmark, Mr. Jensen came to this country in 1921 [sic]. “During the next year or so,” says a commentator, “he changed jobs approximately twice a week. Whatever an artist can lay his hand to, he did, from painting flowers on candlesticks to lettering initials on trunks. Most of this time he learned to appreciate the fact that a can of soup keeps a human being together at a maximum cost of 10 cents. It was not long, however, before his work began to compel attention. The entire advertising campaign of Charles of the Ritz beauty preparations throve for years on a single pen and ink drawing. Then, in quick succession, came more advertising, packages, type designs, and finally, most important of all, the...

Creative Art: A Magazine of Fine and Applied Art
Volume 11, 1932
Streamline Monel Metal Sink designed by Gustav Jensen for The International Nickel Company.

New York Post
February 10, 1932
Advertising Arts
March 1932
Gilbert Products

Gulistan Rug
(Color in Modern Packaging, 1935: “Gustav Jensen did this container for Gulistan rugs. The scheme employs brown with gold lettering and was selected after many color tests. Brown is mellow and warm. It is a comfortable color, livable and friendly.”)

The New York Times
March 6, 1932
“Linking Beauty to Machine Products”
…Two of the most interesting ensembles are a kitchen and a bathroom. In both of these we have become accustomed to look first for convenience and then attractiveness. In these rooms we are willing to accept experimental forms because of their usefulness, believing that later, as is often the case, more attractive designs will be developed. The kitchen is in gray, white and black, but other and gayer colors could easily be used for floors and walls. A monel metal sink designed by Gustav Jensen is quite perfect in its form….

Springfield Republican
June 30, 1932

The New York Times
July 3, 1932
“Better Design in Things for the Home”
…There is even a sink for the kitchen, an effective design by Gustave [sic] Jensen….

The New York Times
August 21, 1932
“Craftsmen Find a Patron in Industry”
…The cosmetic and stove industries were among the earliest to overthrow ugliness for beauty. Beauty parlors entered the realm of big business. Designers like Ely Jacques Kahn, Gustav Jensen and Rene Clarke found it amusing to contrive new patterns for compacts….

Iron & Steel
Cover from PM, September 1936

Nolde and Horst
Illuminated Sign
From PM, September 1936

Luncheon Clinic, February 6, 1933
Chairman: Harry A. Groesbeck, Jr., president, Walker Engraving Company; speakers: O.H. Caldwell, editor of “Electronics”; Doris Marks, of Henry Dreyfuss; Gustav Jensen, industrial designer...

Commercial Art & Industry
May 1933
“This Month’s Personality: Gustav Jensen, Designer to Industry”
This is his own term and he says his aim is “to create the outward form” of the object made by the manufacturer. Jensen makes a body for the soul which has been created by the inventor. In form and in its delicate colouring the Arab cigarette package is the embodiment of elegant smoke. His “earthly body” for the cotton picker is as clean cut and as ingenious as the invention, and the dental goods of the Gilbert Products are designed with a modern severity, accentuated by the use of widely spaced sans serif letters. 

Jensen’s work is personal and original, his designs have distinction, and some of them are museum pieces. In fact, he has exhibited at the Metropolitan, Brooklyn, Newark and Philadelphia museums. Someone has remarked that the list of his clients constitutes an Almanac de Gotha of American business. There are General Motors, the American Telegraph and Telephone, International Nickel, Dupont, Lelong, Edison, and many others.

Then there is variety. Besides toasters, boxes and cartons, there are telephones, kitchen sinks, slot machines, refrigerators, and even automobile tyres. Some of his best designs have been in glass, such as bottles for various drugs and perfumes. Other activities are complete layouts for newspaper and magazine advertisements in which he watches the typography, to the last detail, as well as indicating its masses and drawing the decorations to go with it. His Charles of the Ritz series, for a hairdresser, display a distinctive and an economical use of expensive advertising space. He has designed and supervised the execution of all kinds of commercial printing, and illustrated books. Some of his work in this class shows a keen appreciation of the possibilities for the modern designer that lurk in the offset process.

Baton Rouge Advocate
June 15, 1933

New York Post
July 27, 1933

Naturalization Record
On September 26, 1933, Jensen filed an application, Declaration of Intent, to become an American citizen. The application, found at, had his birth day on the 18th, but on his Petition for Naturalization, filed in 1939, the birth day was the 8th. His address was 288 Lexington Avenue, New York City, and occupation, artist. He stood five feet eleven-and-a-half inches and weighed 187 pounds. He had blue eyes and blonde hair. He married Ellen, a Copenhagen native, in 1921.

Richmond Times Dispatch
November 26, 1933

Industrial Design and the Future
Charles Geoffrey Holme
The Studio, 1934
Powder box for Marinello, designed by Gustav Jensen. Cardboard construction, knob on top in nickel. The colour scheme is silver, white and black.

Cardboard carton for the Cotton Picker of Bauer & Black, designed by Gustav Jensen. The lettering appears white on black panels and the fields between the black panels are of various pastel tints; the lid is black, stamped in metal.

Arts & Decoration
Volume 42, 1934
After the back-bending exercise necessary to encompass with your eye the enormous gray and white rug by Gustav Jensen which covers a substantial part of the East wall...

Commercial Art & Industry
Volumes 16-17, 1934
...The cotton picker was designed by Gustav Jensen, and its colours are lavender and black with white lettering….

The New York Times
May 16, 1934
Medals Bestowed on Winners of Architectural Display.
...Gustav Jensen of 288 Lexington Avenue received the medal in design and craftsmanship in native industrial art.

The New York Times
June 2, 1934
To some extent related thematically is the Summer show now on in the gallery of Pynson Printers, on the seventh floor of The Times Annex. There we grind (and the work well merits study) cover designs and original prints prepared for the twenty parts of The Colophon (1930–35). The taste, thought and loving pains that go into making of this publication are arrestingly exemplified. It is possible for the visitor to trace the several steps that begin with an artist’s sketch and end with the finished book.

Artists who have supplied cover designs for The Colophon during this five-year period are: Earle A. Drewry, Edward A. Wilson, Carl Noell, Marie A. Lawson, Frederic W. Goudy, Jack Tinker, Kirk C. Wilkinson, Emil Ganso, Carlotta Petrina, John Atherton, Louis Bouche, T.M. Cleland, Ervine A. Metzl, Frank McIntosh, Gustav Jensen, W.A. Dwiggins, Joseph Sinel, Boris Artzybasheff and Donald McKay….
Jensen cover from PM, September 1936

The Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art
July 1934
“Contemporary American Industrial Art, 1934”
Following the general pattern of its important exhibition of 1929, the Museum will offer during November and December of this year a comprehensive display of contemporary American industrial art. This will be the thirteenth in the series of industrial art exhibitions and will mark the progress of design over a five-year period, notably in the field of home furnishings….

This year the Museum has again enlisted the the aid of a Cooperating Committee, though its organization has taken quite a different form from that of 1929. According to the scheme of installation, the Gallery of Special Exhibitions will give the impression of three related galleries. The Museum has invited three architects, Paul Philippe Cret, Arthur Loomis Harmon, and Ely Jacques Kahn, to supervise the design of these major units. Each will undertake to harmonize and present as a general gallery project the work of several other cooperating designers.

Mr. Harmon’s unit, the central section of the gallery, will consist of six complete interiors, each designed by an architect who will in turn marshal such other individuals and firms as may be necessary to realize his own part of the exhibition. The architects who have kindly agreed to assist in this unit are Archibald M. Drown, William E. Lescaze, John W. Root, Eliel Saarinen, Eugene Schoen, and Ralph T. Walker.

Similarly Mr. Cret and Mr. Kahn will be assisted by groups of designers. In their units the presentation will not permit the installation of complete rooms; instead arrangements of parts of rooms and groupings of objects of industrial art, such as  textiles, furniture, glass and pottery are planned for. Mr. Cret’s collaborators to date include Gustav Jensen, Gilbert Rhode, Lee Simonson—who will have the collaboration of Raymond Loewy—Walter D. Teague, and V.F. von Lossberg; while Mr. Kahn will be assisted by Donald Deskey, Walter W. Kantack, Irvin L. Scott, and Walter von Nessen....

Boston Herald
October 15, 1934
Gustav Jensen, called one of “The Big Eight” among American industrial designers, will be the guest of honor at the luncheon of the Advertising Club of Boston to be held tomorrow noon in the Salle Moderne at the Hotel Statler.

Jensen was winner of first prize at the Art in Industry show in 1932 and won the gold medal of the Architectural League of New York this year.

New York Sun
November 5, 1934

The New York Times
November 11, 1934
“Modern Trends in Decorative Art”
The Metropolitan Museum Shows Furnishings That Can Now Be Produced in Quantity
…In a setting designed by Paul Philippe Cret are displayed examples of modern porcelain—Lenox china by Frank Graham Holmes—and a satisfying rug with wall treatment of metal foil by Gustave [sic] Jensen….

SAE Journal
Volume 36, 1935
“Art in Industry Hailed by Jensen”
Gustav Boerge Jensen, industrial designer, spoke on “Art in Industry” at the Feb. 6 meeting of the Milwaukee Section which was characterized as Ladies’ Night and drew an attendance of 85. Mr. Jensen emphasized that we are now at the beginning of what might be called a renaissance—on the threshold of an age of tremendous development and change. In the early days, he said, the brain of the creator and the hand of the worker were one. This period was followed by a machine age in which the engineer tried as best he could to be an artist as well. It is from this era that we are now emerging, he believes.

The Studio
Volume 110, 1935
In the kitchen and pantry there is a red linoleum floor, and white, red-trimmed cabinets. The chair seats are bright red, making the laboratories of the house gay and exact places for work. The frigidaire ice-box is recessed into a curving wall and the electric clock above it has a brushed aluminium [sic] dial and red hands, they are made large for visibility from the garage outside. At the left of the sink is a wall of illumination. The hardware of the house is of uniform design throughout and has been reduced to simple forms by Gustav Jensen. The floors vary, the living-room is of oak, the hallway in shades of rubber tile and the upstair floors of cork….

New York Post
January 17, 1935

The New York Times
September 29, 1935
“Metals in the Modern Matter”
…Although usefulness was obviously the first consideration in the designs of an electric toaster by Gustave [sic] Jensen and a gas range by Walter Dorwin Teague, the decorative possibilities which the new structural shapes suggested were also weighed….
Photo from Design & Paper XII

Issues 18-30, 1935
This is the story back of the new Morrell packages. Gustav Jensen, whose version of the redesign job follows mine was secured to develop the designs. His only instructions were to produce the finest labels possible. No strings were attached. While Mr. Jensen was developing ideas for the master design, we undertook the task of simplifying the text on the labels. Whereas before the labels were cluttered with large blocks of lettering, now they contain little more than identifying brand and product names, the various phrases and modifying terms required by the United States Department of Agriculture, and a few suggestions for serving. This final idea was a large undertaking, involving many cooking tests of individual products by ourselves and cooking experts.

Much could be said in regard to the difficulties of getting the effect desired on a label because of the necessity for including text or arranging text in accordance with the requirements of the Bureau of Animal Industry of the United States Department of Agriculture….
Photo from PM, September 1936

Techniques of Advertising Layout
Cover from PM, September 1936

February 4, 1936
Radio Cabinet
Photo from PM, September 1936

September 1936
Issue devoted mostly to Jensen

Golden Blossom Honey
Photo from Design & Paper XII

The New York Times
September 5, 1936
PM Sponsors Five Talks
A series of five instructional talks for art directors and production people, sponsored by PM magazine, will be held on Tuesday evenings, beginning Sept. 22 at The Composing Room Inc., 325 West Thirty-seventh Street. Egmont Arens will discuss “Streamlining the Printed Word”; Faber Birren, “A New Art of Color”; Gustav Jensen, “Art for Commerce and Industry'”; Lester Beall, “Foundations for Design”; and Dr. M.F. Agha, art director of Vogue, “Photography vs. Typography.”

Prescott Evening Courier
September 11, 1936
“Smart Women Thrilled with New Cosmetics”
…Each Adrienne Cosmetic was perfected by leading scientists to eliminate any flaws—tested by 291 women in actual use—and then dressed in the packages styled by the famous designer Gustav Jensen….

The New York Times
December 6, 1936
“M.I.T. to Exhibit Industry Designs”
The Display Opening Tomorrow Will Show How Common Articles Are Developed.
All Steps from First Rough Sketches Will Be Presented—Work from 20 Experts
…Among the designers who will show articles of their work are Egmont Arens, Norman Bel Geddes, De Vaulcher & Blow, Laurelle Guild, Virginia Hamill, Robert Heller, Egbert G. Jacobson, Gustav Jensen. Belle Kogan. Raymond Loewy, Alfred L. Mell, Ben Nash, Gilbert Rhode, Morris Sanders, Roy Sheldon, George Switzer, Walter Dorwin Teague, John Vassos, Walter Von Nessen, Sidney Waugh and Russell Wright.

The Southern Pharmaceutical Journal
Volume 30, 1937
“Bauer & Black Redesigns Blue-Jay Package”
Believing that the old style packages were outmoded, Bauer & Black have completely repackaged the Blue Jay line of foot aids. The new packages are distinctive with four times the attention value of the old package. An especially created yellow with blue color the package. They were designed by Gustav Jensen, famed package designer. 

The New York Times
February 21, 1937
“Wins Packaging Award”
Adrienne Cosmetics Group First in Wolf Competition
The Adrienne Cosmetics group of packages used by United Drug Company, and designed by Gustave [sic] Jensen, took first honors in the 1936–37 Irwin D. Wolf Awards Competition for distinctive merit in packaging, it was announced yesterday by the American Management Association, sponsor of the competition....

Evansville Courier
March 7, 1937
“Prize Package”
To the United Drug Co. last week went the American Management Association’s award for the “outstanding package” of 1936. Product: Adrienne Cosmetics. Package feats: chaste lettering; white and gold design. Designer: Gustav Jensen.

The New York Times
March 24, 1937
“Adrienne” Group Gets Prize
Mr. Wolf presented the Irwin D. Wolf Award Trophy, a hammered silver urn, to Louis K. Liggett, president of the United Drug Company, for that organization’s “Adrienne” family group of cosmetic packages, designed by Gustav B. Jensen.

Catalogue of Copyright Entries
May 21, 1937

The New York Times
June 27, 1937
“New Type Rug Produced”
An American machine-loomed rug, claimed as an entirely new idea in floor decoration through combining the features of carpet and rug, has been produced by the A. & M. Karagheusian, Inc., rug mills and shipped to France where it will be placed on display in the American Pavilion of the Paris Exposition. The rug carries the design of a rug on a carpet background and was designed especially for the mills by Gustav Jensen….

San Francisco Chronicle
September 24, 1937
New York Post
September 29, 1937
(bottom of column one)
Buffalo Courier Express
October 3, 1937
Cleveland Plain Dealer Women’s Magazine
October 31, 1937
(bottom of column one)
The Golden Book ”...binding and the jacket were designed by Gustav Jensen...”

The New York Times
October 31, 1937
“Art of the Modern Rug in a Broad Display”
There is a room-sized rug by Gustav Jensen, designed for a leading manufacturer, that combines most successfully pattern and restful expanses of surface. In it is worked out a new type of flexible pattern which may be used with a border or otherwise suitably arranged.

Art Instruction
Volume 2, 1938
The Book contains over one hundred and twenty reproductions of fine title pages and engravings which enhance the text and make the book a veritable encyclopedia of printing. The jacket and binding have been designed by Gustav Jensen.

Design & Paper XII
Marquardt, c1938
For those who once become acquainted with his work, a design by Gustav Jensen needs no identifying signature. It contains within itself the sensitive spirit of the man, wrought into its very substance during the process of its creation. Yet this elusive quality of individuality is but an overtone, to be sensed rather than analyzed, never interfering with the clear expression of purpose in form. • This coupling of personality with simple and direct fitness to use is too rarely found in the work of contemporary designers. Either the individuality dominates at the expense of functional perfection or else it becomes completely lost in the cold, precise, mechanical contours of the product. With Jensen, happily, both desirable elements are present....

Pencil Points
Volume 19, Issue 2, 1938
Gustav Jensen, Designer, has moved his office to 16 East 48th Street, New York, N. Y.

The New York Times
May 8, 1938
“Modern Handicrafts in New Vigor and Variety”
...Glass continues a favorite medium for the hand craftsman….another glass table, the top of which is accented by simple engraved motifs, is exhibited by Gustav Jensen, a versatile designer whose unusual spherical radio is included in the showing, along with a photograph of his successful pattern for a Gulistan rug….

New York Sun
June 25, 1938

Herald Statesman
July 13, 1938

November 15, 1938
Automobile Seat Inflation Device

The New York Times
December 8, 1938
“Apartment Rentals”
...Gustav B. Jensen, in 16 E 48th St...

Some of the outstanding men are: Gustav Jensen, Danish designer now working in America. He designed the Norge Refrigerator exhibit at Chicago’s Century of Progress in 1933....

Arts Magazine
Volume 14, 1939
“Gustav Jensen to Teach”
An important addition to the faculty of the New York School of Applied Design for Women is Gustav Jensen who will conduct classes in industrial design. Jensen, who has lectured on this specialty and has achieved a nation-wide reputation as a designer, has executed commissions for the decorative arts exhibitions at the Metropolitan Museum, and is represented in the Modern Museum.

“Metropolitan Surveys Industrial Design”
Has the industrial designer, that thrilling prophet of logic in living, already burned himself out? Or is he just temporarily stalled in one of the more bumpy “Thank you Ma’ams” of life — the rut of academicism?

These questions arise at the 15th edition of the Metropolitan Museum's exhibition of Contemporary American Industrial Design. The show, on view through September, is not much more inspired than the name of the gallery in which it is installed—old D6.

The exhibition is made up of thirteen room schemes and six groups arranged by material, with many of the nation’s best known designers represented. Most interest attaches to the individual rooms. These are, in succession; a covered terrace by Irvin L. Scott; music room by Walter Dorwin Teague; entrance hall to a country house by Archibald Manning Brown; room for a 4-year-old, by William Lescaze; dining alcove by Edward D. Stone; prefabricated cabin interior by Donald Deskey; outdoor living room by Russell Wright; living room by Gilbert Rohde; living room by Eugene Schoen; porch by Walter Von Nessen; room for a 5-year-old by Raymond Loewy; a corner for living by Ralph Walker; powder room by Gustav Jensen; and hall of a country house by Wallace K. Harrison....

New York Sun
December 6, 1939

The New York Times
December 6, 1939
The Edelbrau Brewery, Inc., will introduce Dublin House Stout and Dublin House Ale, with labels designed by Gustav Jensen, industrial designer, in time for the holiday trade….

Naturalization Record
On December 13, 1939, Jensen filed an application, Petition for Naturalizationto become an American citizen. The application had his birth day on April 8th, and his full name, Gustav Boerge Jensen. He resided at 16 East 48th Street,  New York City, and worked as an artist.

Seattle Times
January 7, 1940

The New York Times
February 19, 1940
Lightolier Company, manufacturer of lamps and lighting equipment, has retained Gustave [sic] Jensen, industrial designer, as style consultant.
Cover from PM, September 1936

The New York Times
February 28, 1940
“To Market New Office Aids”
The Bates Manufacturing Company, Orange, N.J., will make up schedules in the next few months for an advertising campaign to promote new office accessories which it has commissioned Gustave [sic] Jensen, industrial designer, to execute....

March 1940
“A Group of Designs”
High-ranking in the roll-call of New York’s industrial designers is a six-foot Dane with the voice of a Viking. Gustav Jensen is an artist, whether he is talking, eating, or performing Herculean labors in cleaning out the Plebeian Stables. The creed of the industrial designer is that every implement of modern life can be made into a work of art. Jensen has pursued this creed to fabulous extremes....
(click title to download article)

New York Sun
April 6, 1940

The New York Times
April 21, 1940
“Industrial Art Will Go on View...”
(The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s fifteenth exhibition of contemporary American industrial art)
…The members of the cooperating committee are Ely Jacques Kahn, leader; Archibald Manning Brown, Walter Kantack, William Lescaze, Irvin L. Scott and Walter Dorwin Teague; Ralph T. Walker, leader; Wallace K. Harrison, Gustav Jensen and Raymond Loewy; Arthur Loomis Harmon, leader; Gilbert Rhode, Eugene Schoen, Leon V. Solon, Walter von Nessen and Russell Wright; Harvey Wiley Corbett, leader; Donald Deskey, Louis Skid more and Edward D. Stone.

The New York Times
May 5, 1940
“Decorative Art: Modern Design”
The hundreds of articles in the exhibition have been grouped into eighteen ensembles arranged by leading designers and architects, a method which makes for ease in viewing….

...The observer will discern a certain suave elegance which worthily competes with modern design in Europe. This is especially to be noted in the groupings lay Gilbert Rohde, Eugene Schoen and Gustav Jensen….

Naturalization Record
On May 11, 1940, Jensen’s Petition for Naturalization was approved.

New York Sun
May 24, 1940

Herald Statesman
May 28, 1940

September 1940
American Blue Print Co. of New York announced its Camera Composition technique after five years of development. They were eager to meet the increased demand for “flexible lettering”. Thirty alphabets had been designed by leading letterers including Warren Chappell, Gustav Jensen, Max Kaufmann and Albert Cavanagh. (The designers retained all rights to the designs and were promised royalties of 10%.) Lines were set up from these master alphabets and then photographed. The result was a glossy photostat. The Camera Composition technique was able to set lines diagonally or on a curve. Letters could be expanded or condensed; and scripts could be neatly joined.

New York Sun
October 8, 1940

The New York Times
November 7, 1940
A round-table discussion on graphic design will be held under the auspices of A-D at the A-D Gallery, 130 West Forty-sixth Street. on Nov. 13, at 8 PM Participating will be Lester Beall, Gustav Jensen and other nationally known artists and designers.

Volume 4, 1940
Gustav Jensen, prominent designer for commerce and industry, has accepted an invitation to instruct two evenings a week at the New York School of Applied Design for Women. He will stress the application of two vital principles, appropriateness and beauty.

Volume 33, 1941
Books and Industrial Design
Gustav Jensen, pioneer industrial designer, gave a relatively small but attentive audience an unforgettable talk on the relationship ofindustrial to book design at the February 20 meeting of the Trade Book Clinic, held at the City Club, 55 West 44th St., under auspices of the American Institute of Graphic Arts.

“A designer worthy of the name”, said the speaker, “can design anything, whether it be a refrigerator, a motorcar, or a book...”

Print, Volume 2
William Edwin Rudge
W.E. Rudge, Publisher, 1941
“Pinesbridge Farm Smoked Turkey Pate”
This pate has the same rich smoky flavor as the world famous whole birds, prepared by the Old turkey Smoker. It is packed in glass in a beautiful container designed by Gustav B. Jensen.

The Architectural Forum
Volume 74, 1941
Thursday, January 9.—Once again, the Architectural League’s monthly dinner, to mark the opening of another Panel Show. Evans, Moore & Woodbridge; Harrison & Fouilhoux; and Archibald Manning Brown are showing their architecture this month; Gustav Jensen, his typographical and package designs; Leon Solon, some book illustrations....

The New York Times
January 12, 1941
(Architectural League of New York clubhouse)...Gustav Jensen, designer and craftsman, who designed the Danish exhibit at the World'’ Fair, is showing work in many mediums.

The New York Times
March 16, 1941
“For Reform in Designs”
Postmaster General Frank G. Walker has assigned to a committee of Postoffice Department aides and Bureau of Engraving and Printing executives the duty of working with the group of American artists who several months ago volunteered to donate their time and services to the preparation of improved designs for the nation’s postal paper.

This movement originated with Paul F. Berdanier Jr., secretary of the Collector’s Club, and H.L. Lindquist, chairman of the National Federation of Stamp Clubs…

…The sketches already submitted to Mr. Berdanier have come from Warren Chappell and Clarence H. Hornung...Other artists, in addition to Mr. Dwiggins, who are preparing designs are Fred G. Cooper, Lucien Bernhard, Sam Marsh, Walter Dorwin Teague and Gustav Jensen....

May 15, 1941
Detail of Advertisement

Detail of photo from PM, September 1936

Niagara Falls Gazette
May 31, 1941

The New York Times
June 1, 1941

The Stamp Specialist Orange Book

November 4, 1941
Display Container

Knickerbocker News
October 13, 1944

Schenectady Gazette
October 13, 1944

Syracuse Herald-American
November 12, 1944

The New York Times
May 8, 1945
“Will Open Lettering Show”
Examples of modern lettering and calligraphy for books and advertising will be shown in an exhibition which will open Friday at the A-D Gallery, 130 West Forty-sixth Street. Among exhibitors at the show, which has been assembled by George Salter and Paul Standard, are: Arnold Bank, Warren Chappell, W.A. Dwiggins, Gustav Jensen, Sam Marsh, William Metzig, Oscar Ogg, George Salter, Andrew Szoeke and Tommy Thompson. A catalog illustrated with examples of work of a large number of the participants has been issued in connection with the exhibit.

July 1946
Gustav B. Jensen studied architecture in his native Denmark, but has been designing advertising, packages and products here for 25 years. He has won awards for package design and has designed a typeface based on his handwriting not as yet brought out.

Type for Books and Advertising
Eugene M. Ettenberg
Van Nostrand Company, 1947
Gustav B. Jensen studied architecture in his native Denmark, but has been designing advertising, packages and products here for 25 years. He has won awards for package design and has designed a typeface based on his handwriting not as yet brought out.

September 18, 1950
Sports coupe by Gustav Jensen, Designer to Commerce and Industry, New York
Detail of Veedol Motor Oil Advertisement

Printers’ Ink
Volume 235, 1951
William Adamsen—artist and man
William Adamsen has passed away. On Sunday April the 22nd he died after a short illness. He was 71, and he had a lifetime of hard work behind him. An advertising artist and expert in the field of photo-retouching, to an extent that has seldom been reached, he showed perseverance and unbeatable courage and gameness throughout. This long time span of work would require those qualities, as all men in the field do know.

Few would have thought that he was so well on in years, for he was the youngest of us all. To us, his closest friends, you could not help thinking of the old proverb: Superior man is he who has not lost his child heart. He always had time for foolery, for chess, for baseball and innumerable interests. He had preserved his boyish ways.

For us his friends there is some slight consolation that we shall never remember him as not well but always as the boyish game man who sustained us all with his courage and vitality. Can we but follow his example of working hard and remaining gay and game through life!

–Gustav Jensen

Camp Fire Girls v. Gustav B. Jensen
May 28, 1951

The New York Times
June 28, 1954
On June 27, 1954, Jensen passed away at home.

The San Diego Union
June 29, 1954 

...and the Dane, Gustav Jensen who shared a studio with Alexi Brodovitch...

Popular Visual Culture: America in the Nineteen Thirties
Anne H. Nakamura
...Gustav Jensen’s containers for Gilbert’s antiseptic products represented a sophisticated triumph. (Plate 5) The design was built of flat color areas which were structurally fitted to the container. The lettering, kept now to a minimum was an integral part of the design. The package appeared neat and clean, but it avoided appearing antiseptic or hygienic....

Paul Rand: Modernist Designer
Franc Nunoo Quarcoo
Rand: ...He had a beautiful script signature, GBJ, Gustav Borge [sic] Jensen. I used to sit and look at it all night long. I tried to make my own initials look like his, but it was impossible. He had three letters that lent themselves to that sort of rhythm, but mine didn’t.


Gustav Jensen Lost?
Elegance Personified: Gustav Jensen
Many images in this post were found in these two articles by Steven Heller.

Graphic Design Time Line: A Century of Design Milestones
Steven Heller, Elinor Pettit

Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum
Beta release of a collection of objects by Gustav Jensen, starting from the bottom of page one to page eleven; at this time just catalog information available, no images

Bodoni Egyptian Thin Pro
Jensen Arabique
Tasneem NF
(Gustav Jensen)

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(Next post on Monday: Here Comes the Sun)


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