From 1962 to 1972, George Lois changed the face of magazine design with his ninety-two covers for Esquire magazine. He stripped the cover down to a graphically concise yet conceptually potent image that ventured beyond the mere illustration of a feature article. Lois exploited the communicative power of the mass-circulated front page to stimulate and provoke the public into debate, pressing Americans to confront controversial issues like racism, feminism, and the Vietnam War. Viewed as a collection, the covers serve as a visual timeline and a window onto the turbulent events of the 1960s. Initially received as jarring and prescient statements of their time, the covers have since become essential to the iconography of American culture.
Organized by Christian Larsen, Curatorial Assistant, Research and Collections, Department of Architecture and Design.