Edward McKnight Kauffer (1890 - 1954)
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“BP” Plus. Buy it for Anti-Knock by Edward McKnight Kauffer
“BP” Plus. Buy it for Anti-Knock. 1930s
 

Biography

Edward McKnight Kauffer began his professional life as a painter, but became one of Britain’s best known inter-war designers. He embraced commercial design not just as a way of making money but as an important art form in its own right. Contemporaries praised him as a ‘good translator’, adept at using modern art to address a popular audience. Born into poverty in the Midwest of America, in his late teens Kauffer was given the opportunity to study in Europe. He eventually settled in England and began designing posters as a way of supporting his family. Success meant that this activity was soon the chief focus of his attention. By the early 1920s Kauffer’s graphic art was so well known that it was later used in Brideshead Revisited as an emblem of the period. His greatest works were produced after the late 1920s, when he developed a bold, machine-like style. In 1940 the war forced Kauffer to leave for New York, where he continued to work up to his death in 1954.