In 1936, Dr. Leslie, with the help of Hortense
Mendel, began showing the work of emigre and young artists in an empty
room in The Composing Room offices. Called the A-D Gallery, it was
the first place in New York City dedicated to exhibitingthe graphic
and typographic arts.
Dr Leslie "sells" before a Heritage
of the Graphic Arts lecture at Gallery 303. Mid to late 1960's.
photo Lisl Steiner
The first exhibit as described by Percy Seitlin:
"A young man by the name of Herbert Matter had just arrived
in this country from Switzerland with a bagful of ski posters and
photgraphs of snow covered mountains. Also came camera portraits
and various specimens of his typographic work. We decided to let
him hang some of his things on the walls and gave him a party...
the result was a crowd of almost bargain-basement dimensions, and
thirsty too. Everyone was excited by the audacity and skill of Matter's
The A-D gallery was one of the only places in
New York city for young artists to come into contact with the work
of european emigresand soon became a social meeting place for designers
to meet each other, as well as prospective clients and employers.
Dr. Leslie knew many people in New York and went out of his way
to introduce people to each other. The gallery and the magazine
became mirrors of each other. Often a feature in the magazine would
become a show and vice-versa.
In 1958, the gallery was reactivated and renamed
Gallery 303, after it's room number. In addition to showcasing artist's
work, the new gallery was became host to the lecture series, "Heritage
of the Graphic Arts", held through the sixties.
The following pages represent a handful of invitations,
imagery and keepsakes from various exhibits both at the A-D Gallery
and Gallery 303.