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Highlights of Art

  • Kind of Object:
    Magazine
  • Name:
    Highlights of Art

    Word Count: 3

  • Alternative Names:
    later Screen, Art & Sport
  • Creator (Person):
    Alexander A. YaronIvan Kounin
  • Creator (Organisation):
    Adcraft
  • Year Start:
    1938
  • Year End:
    1941
  • Known addresses in Metromod cities:

    Adcraft Studio, 7 Avenue Edward VII (now Yan’an Dong Lu, Huangpu Qu), Shanghai

  • Language:
    English
  • City:
    Shanghai (CN)
  • Introduction:

    Highlights of Art was an illustrated magazine published by the creative duo Ivan Kounin and Alexander Yaron, working under the name Adcraft Studios. Although the magazine stopped publication after one issue, it launched a series of art-focused periodicals, praised for their high quality of design and their thematic coverage.

    Word Count: 49

  • Content:

    The Highlights of Art magazine was started in 1938 by the creative tandem Alexander Yaron and Ivan Kounin, working under the name Adcraft Studios. The inaugural issue of the magazine – subtitled Christmas Highlights – came out in December 1938 with the following editor’s statement: “With increased public interest in music, opera and ballet, a responsible moment is approaching and Shanghai needs a publication in which matters pertaining to art will be freely, frankly discussed, without bias or fear of reprisal.”

    The China Press newspaper reacted positively to this publication: “Richly illustrated with photographs of the leading personalities and events in Shanghai’s realm of art, the current issue goes a long way to prove the earnestness of the editor and publisher in their desire to serve the art world.” While praising the illustrations by Alexander Yaron – “comparable to works in the high class magazines of the West” – the critics found that “the printing job is not the best to be desired.”

    This issue of the Highlights of Art was published in aid of St. Tichon’s Orphanage, run by the Russian Orthodox Church and supported by Alexander Yaron’s architect father, among others. Aside from a photo essay about the orphanage, the issue contained profiles of Russian theatre personalities, essays on the most recent operas, and a theatre-themed short story. Highlights of Art closed after one issue, and Kounin and Yaron directed their energies to the production of another illustrated magazine – Screen & Art.

    The reviews of the new magazine were favourable – “beautifully printed and containing the latest information on current and coming films […] the Chinese screen and local stage.” The Christmas 1939 issue contained 100 pages on the history of motion pictures and announced the upcoming Hollywood-themed costume ball; the participants were asked to wear makeup making them resemble their chosen Hollywood stars. After a number of issues the magazine was renamed Screen, Art & Sports; its publication stopped with Yaron’s departure from Adcraft Studios in June 1941.

    Word Count: 325

  • Signature Image:
    Double page, Highlights of Art, 1938 (© Natalia Kounin). Dedicated to the Russian opera and ballet, the conductor Alexander Sloutsky and his stage director daughter Helen Sloutsky (Mme Crosnier).
  • Media:
    Double page, Highlights of Art, 1938 (© Natalia Kounin). Dedicated to the Russian opera and ballet, the conductor Alexander Sloutsky and his stage director daughter Helen Sloutsky (Mme Crosnier).
    Kounin, Ivan and Alexander Yaron, editors. Diamond Jubilee of the International Settlement of Shanghai. Post mercury Co. fed. Inc. U.S.A.,1940. The double page shows the covers of Adcraft Studios’ magazines, including Highlights of Art, and others.
  • Bibliography (selected):

    Ivan Kounin, and Yaron, Alexander, editors. Diamond Jubilee of the International Settlement of Shanghai. Post mercury Co. fed. Inc. U.S.A.,1940.
    Highlights of Art. 1938.

    Word Count: 25

  • Author:
    Katya Knyazeva
  • Metropolis:
    Shanghai
  • Entry in process:
    no
  • Katya Knyazeva. "Highlights of Art." METROMOD Archive, 2021, https://archive.metromod.net/viewer.p/69/2952/object/5140-11304852, last modified: 08-05-2021.
  • Alexander A. Yaron
    DesignerJournalistArtistPhotographer

    An autodidact and a versatile commercial artist, Alexander Yaron applied his talent in portraiture, photography, interior design, advertising, layout and illustration. His best known projects were illustrated art magazines and books produced as part of Adcraft Studios, in tandem with Ivan Kounin.

    Word Count: 42

    Kounin, Ivan, and Alexander Yaron, editors. The Diamond Jubilee of the International Settlement of Shanghai. Shanghai, 1940. Portrait of Alexander A. Yaron, photography.
    Alexander Yaron, Along the ancient channel, print, Ponedelnik (Monday),1933 (© Amir Khisamutdinov).Alexander Yaron, portraits, drawings, Highlights of Art, 1938 (© Natalia Kounin).Alexander Yaron, poster for the Russian Ballet, 1936 (© Amir Khisamutdinov).Kounin, Ivan and Alexander Yaron, editors. Diamond Jubilee of the International Settlement of Shanghai. Post mercury Co. fed. Inc. U.S.A.,1940. The double page shows the covers of Adcraft Studios’ magazines, including Highlights of Art, and others.Yaron Studios, advertisement for Central Air Transport Corporation, China Weekly Review, 20 September 1947.
    Shanghai
    Ivan Kounin
    JournalistPublisher

    A self-driven journalist and a self-funded publisher, Ivan Kounin created several illustrated albums focused on the life of Shanghai’s international community, which highlighted the work of Russian artists.

    Word Count: 29

    Kounin, Ivan and Alexander Yaron, editors. Diamond Jubilee of the International Settlement of Shanghai. Post mercury Co. fed. Inc. U.S.A.,1940. Ivan Kounin in the office of Adcraft Studios, photography, Diamond Jubilee of the International Settlement of Shanghai, 1940.
    Kounin, Ivan and Alexander Yaron, editors. Diamond Jubilee of the International Settlement of Shanghai. Post mercury Co. fed. Inc. U.S.A.,1940. The staff of Adcraft Studios, photography, Diamond Jubilee of the International Settlement of Shanghai, 1940.Ivan Kounin, cover print, F. Chaliapine, 1936 (© Amir Khisamutdinov).Kounin, Ivan and Alexander Yaron, editors. Diamond Jubilee of the International Settlement of Shanghai. Post mercury Co. fed. Inc. U.S.A.,1940. Advertisement for Adcraft Studios, Diamond Jubilee of the International Settlement of Shanghai, 1940.
    Shanghai