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An Iconic Designer’s Take on Iconic Jewish Food
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An Iconic Designer’s Take on Iconic Jewish Food

Milton Glaser in his New York studio in 2014. Neville Elder/Corbis via Getty Images
Milton Glaser in his New York studio in 2014. Neville Elder/Corbis via Getty Images

Milton Glaser, the godfather of modern graphic design who died on his 91st birthday June 26, was responsible for a number of iconic designs: The “I NY” logo, a classic Bob Dylan poster, the “chubby” psychedelic imagery that inspired the look of the animated Beatles movie “Yellow Submarine.” He was also co-fouånder, president and design director of New York magazine.

The lifelong New Yorker and son of Hungarian immigrant parents rarely spoke of his Jewish identity, but he made clear that his upbringing defined his artistic sensibility: it gave him, he said, a sense of “never quite feeling at home in any culture.”

The insider/outsider aesthetic was on display in a July 1968 issue of New York, when, moonlighting as the Underground Gourmet columnist, he co-wrote “A Gentile’s Guide to Jewish Food.” The first installment treats the appetizing store with almost anthropological respect. “The appetizing store is … a unique and wonderful institution,” it reads. “To be precise, the items in an appetizing store were and are not necessarily Jewish inventions. The Jews exercise an international gastronomic curatorship by bringing together and developing foods of Scandinavian, Middle European and Middle Eastern origins.” Oh, and the average price of lox was $3.15 a pound.

The July 22, 1968 issue of New York magazine featured a design by Glaser.

The cover of the magazine featured — what else? — a Glaser design of a whole salmon trapped in a bagel.

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