The Art of Rivalry

Invitation
Illustration

The esteemed art critic, Sebastian Smee, authored his latest book called “The Art of Rivalry.” He tells the fascinating account of four pairs of male artists—Manet and Degas, Picasso and Matisse, Pollock and de Kooning, Freud and Bacon—whose antagonistic friendships spurred them to achieve new creative triumphs.

One of the nation's oldest independent libraries, the Boston Athenæum presented a special lecture and dinner with Sebastian Smee for members to attend and sought to produce an invitation that would tease the author's new book and encourage high attendance.

Invitation, Illustration

The Art of Rivalry

The esteemed art critic, Sebastian Smee, authored his latest book called “The Art of Rivalry.” He tells the fascinating account of four pairs of male artists—Manet and Degas, Picasso and Matisse, Pollock and de Kooning, Freud and Bacon—whose antagonistic friendships spurred them to achieve new creative triumphs.

One of the nation's oldest independent libraries, the Boston Athenæum presented a special lecture and dinner with Sebastian Smee for members to attend and sought to produce an invitation that would tease the author's new book and encourage high attendance.

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Approach

In collaboration with Bailey Meadows, the account of Manet and Degas’ tumultuous friendship inspired the art direction and design of the invitation. The book reveals the series of events that lead to Manet slashing the double portrait, including him and his wife, painted by Degas. The author suggests the reasoning was over how Degas portrayed Manet, yet the cut was the psychological equivalent of Manet stabbing Degas.

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2016

Client

Boston Athenaeum

Role

Graphic Designer

Team

Bailey Meadows, Art Director

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