The Cologne Progressive Style and the Birth of the Modern Pictogram


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships


Art History


While artists of the international avant-garde had by the mid-1920s fallen out of favor with the very political movements that their art had aimed to support, the Cologne-based Gruppe progressiver Künstler remained politically active well into the thirties. This dissertation, in charting the Progressives’ artistic activities and political engagement with international socialism during the years of Weimar Republic, explains how and why these artists enjoyed continued relevance at a time when reactionary aesthetics dominated the political landscape. This study further examine the practical application of the Progressives’ collective graphic style in the form of the modern pictogram, both within the field of graphic design and as an educational tool within the social sciences.