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University of Chicago Library

Guide to the Container Corporation of America Collection 1950-1964

© 2019 University of Chicago Library

Descriptive Summary

Title:

Container Corporation of America. Collection

Dates:

1950-1964

Size:

1.5 linear feet (1 box)

Repository:

Special Collections Research Center
University of Chicago Library
1100 East 57th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.

Abstract:

Seven sets of prints from advertisements produced by the Container Corporation of America between 1950 and 1964. The prints were published in three- to four-year groups and all belong to the Great Ideas of Western Man series which ran from 1950-1975. Each poster pairs a quote from a historical figure with a commissioned artwork inspired by that quote.

Information on Use

Access

This collection is open for research.

Citation

When quoting material from this collection, the preferred citation is: Container Corporation of America. Collection, [Box #, Folder #], Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library

Historical Note

The Container Corporation of America was founded in Chicago in 1926 by Walter Paul Paepcke (1896-1960). The company manufactured cardboard boxes but is best known for its modernist design department and their innovative advertisements beginning in the 1930s. These advertisements were influential in using design by avant-garde artists and in minimizing the visible presence of the Container Corporation brand. Paepcke and his wife Elizabeth Nitze Paepcke (1902-1994) were avid supporters of Bauhaus design, and the company commissioned works by many European or émigré artists including László Moholy-Nagy, Herbert Bayer, A. M. Cassandre, Jean Carlu, Leo Lionni, and Herbert Matter. From 1950 to 1975, the Container Corporation published a series of more than 190 advertisements entitled Great Ideas of Western Man, pairing quotes from historical figures with commissioned works by avant-garde designers. Other notable series include United Nations (1944) and United States (1947).

Scope Note

The Container Corporation of America Collection contains seven sets of prints in the Great Ideas of Western Man series, issued as loose folios grouped in folders each covering a range of 3-4 years. The Great Ideas series ran from 1950-1975, and this collection dates between 1950 and 1967. The collection is organized chronologically.

Related Resources

The following related resources are located in the Department of Special Collections:

Browse finding aids by topic.

Paepcke, Elizabeth H. Papers

Paepcke, Hilken, and Nitze Families. Papers

Paepcke, Walter P. Papers

R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company. Archive

Weil, Roman, Collection of Boris Artzybasheff

Phyllis J. Patton Collection of Container Corporation of America

Subject Headings

INVENTORY

Box 1   Folder 1

Great Ideas of Western Man. Prints, 1950-1952

Box 1   Folder 2

Great Ideas of Western Man. Prints, 1952-1954

Box 1   Folder 3

Great Ideas of Western Man. Prints, 1954-1956

Box 1   Folder 4

Great Ideas of Western Man. Prints, 1956-1958

Box 1   Folder 5

Great Ideas of Western Man. Prints, 1958-1960

Box 1   Folder 6

Great Ideas of Western Man. Prints, 1960-1963

Box 1   Folder 7

Great Ideas of Western Man. Prints, 1964-1967