Time-Life Building in New York, NY

I worked at LIFE magazine in the late 80’s/early 90s. As I headed up to Rockefeller Center yesterday, I walked into the Time-Life Building to see the lobby artwork that I’d walked by every day for seven years. I was in the production department and worked extremely long hours, so I was generally the last one to leave. I loved walking by the art in the empty lobby late at night. While magazines are no longer being produced in the building, the lobby art is an amazing time capsule.

“The intent of the arrangement of color is to create a new kind of depth. The artist considers the theme of the abstract mural to be the rhythm and movement of the city.” (Time-Life Building)

Fritz Glarner, Relationship Painting #88, 1960
Oil on canvas

“A mural in bronze and two shades of carrara glass creates a design of receding squares in architectural relationship for an illusionary interplay of light and shade.” (Time-Life Building)

Josef Albers, Portals, 1961
Bronze, carrara

“A bas-relief in Bronze reproduces a style of type inspired by the 18th century English type founder William Caslon, symbolizing the beauty and function of the fundamental communication tool of Time & Life.” (Time-Life Building)

Francis Brennan, Amos Bethke, Frank Pulliam, Caslon 471 Typeface, 1965 Btonze

2 thoughts on “Time-Life Building in New York, NY

  1. How wonderful to stumble upon a reference to my dad’s (Amos) work. He was always so proud of it. We understand it has been moved to somewhere in the southern part of the city. Dad professed that Caslon 471 was the most beautiful type face on the face of the earth. He loved the craft and tried in vain to get brother Peter and me interested in it. I have the his original type setup on display at home. I hope the sculpture is thriving somewhere.

    1. I’m thrilled you stumbled upon my blog post, and enjoyed hearing about your dad. I last saw the artwork in October of 2021 at the Time-Life Building. I cannot imagine it has been moved since. I’ll peak in the next time I’m in the neighborhood.

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