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Alex Steinweiss grew up in Brooklyn's Brighton Beach section. He attended Abraham Lincoln High School from 1930-1934 and was in the graphic design program taught by Leon Friend. His classmates included Gene Federico, Seymour Chwast and William Taubin. Friend’s group was known as the “Art Squad” and designed school publications, posters and signs. At the age of 17 his work was showcased in PM magazine. He received a scholarship to Parsons School of Art and after a rocky start graduated in 1937. Through the help of Lucien Bernhard he got his first job as an assistant to Joseph Binder. This position lasted almost 3 years. In 1939, Dr. Leslie featured alumni of the Art Squad’s work in an issue of PM. Dr. Leslie, who considered Steinweiss one of his discoveries, encouraged Steinweiss to go out on his own. After leaving Binder’s studio he received a call from Dr. Leslie about a new position at the newly formed Columbia Records. His early work at Columbia was designed in the tradition of the great French and German poster artists—flat color fields, symbolic and metaphorical shapes as well as simple, appealing typography. He held the position of art director until WWII when he took a job with the US Navy producing informational materials. At night he continued to freelance at Columbia. He maintained his freelance status after the war and added to his list of clients National Distillery, Schenley Distributors, White Laboratories, Print Magazine and Fortune magazine. In addition to design work he created the packaging concept for LP’s that has been in use until the advent of CD’s. Dr. Leslie again showcased Steinweiss’s work in a one man show held in 1947. During the 1950’s he also worked for London, Decca and A&R records. In 1974 he and his wife moved to Sarasota, Florida where he paints and designs posters for community and cultural events.

December-January 1939-40
June- July 1941
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