Up Is Down

Up Is Down

Mid-Century Experiments in Advertising and Film at the Goldsholl Studio
Edited by Amy Beste and Corinne Granof

Winner of the 2019 Award for Excellence from the Association of Art Museum Curators

Up Is Down: Mid-Century Experiments in Advertising and Film at the Goldsholl Studio is the first illustrated guide to the innovative work of Goldsholl Design Associates and its impact on design and film.
Headed by Morton and Millie Goldsholl, the studio worked at the intersection of art, design, and media, producing trademarks, corporate identities, print advertisements, television commercials, and films for such clients as Motorola, Kimberly-Clark, Revlon, 7-Up, and the National Football League. The Goldsholls and their designers were compared to many of the most celebrated design firms of their day and are being rediscovered by many contemporary designers.
Inspired by Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, with whom they had studied at Chicago’s School of Design, Morton and Millie Goldsholl fostered a culture of exploration and collaboration in their studio. The firm became known for its imaginative “designs-in-film,” applying avant-garde techniques to commercial productions. Its groundbreaking work in the new media of television helped redefine the look of everyday visual culture in mid-century America. The trailblazing work of Goldsholl Design Associates remains an unexplored contribution within American design and advertising.
Published in conjunction with the exhibition of the same name at the Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University, this volume’s research explores how a new visual language emerged from Chicago’s cross-fertilization of avant-garde aesthetics, business, and cutting-edge media.

About the Author

AMY BESTE is the director of public programs and a senior lecturer in the Department of Film, Video, New Media, and Animation at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
CORINNE GRANOF is the curator of academic programs at the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University and a specialist in twentieth-century German art.


"The Goldsholl Studio became famous primarily for its experimental commercials, animations, and logo designs for large corporations and brands such as Motorola, Kimberly- Clark, and 7 Up. The aim of “Up Is Down: Mid-century Experiments in Advertising and Film at the Goldsholl Studio” is to raise awareness of the studio’s importance.” —Form Design Magazine
"Celebrates the golden age of advertising through the lens of a homegrown design giant." —Chicago Magazine

"Goldsholl Design Associates, headed by husband and wife Morton and Millie Goldsholl, were instrumental in introducing the principles of Bauhaus design to the American public through innovative campaigns for the likes of 7UP, Motorola, NFL, Revlon and Kimberly Clark. Their advertising and design work also elevated Chicago’s lasting impact on American design." —Graphic Design USA
“Shed[s] new light on the pivotal role Chicago has played in the history of American design and art. While the Goldsholls produced work that had a national impact, their story is uniquely tied to Chicago. The Goldsholls’ working process evolved out of their experiences in the 1940s at the School of Design, which was founded as the New Bauhaus by László Moholy-Nagy." —Print Magazine

“A consumer can often forget the presence of the designer. Curators like Amy Beste and Corinne Granof remind us of the human behind the design—Someone sitting at a desk, thinking about the world they live in, its problems, how to fit within it, how to care for it.” —NewCity Magazine