New Frontier Hotel, Las Vegas, Saul Bass Menu Art, 1956
The revered graphic designer Saul Bass, who was responsible for many of America's most iconic logos and created a new film genre when he invented the opening credits sequence in movies, designed this 1956 menu for the Venus Room in the New Frontier Hotel in Las Vegas. The room was strikingly modern with its space age theme and this artwork depicting planets must have seemed – it still is today – new and exciting. The Venus Room hosted Elvis Presley’s first Las Vegas appearance in the same year. Judy Garland also made her nightclub debut here.
A graphic designer by trade – he designed the logos for companies as diverse as Quaker Oats, Minolta, AT &T, United Airlines and the multinational oil and gas corporation Exxon – Bass elevated opening film credits into an art form. He designed the innovative, animated paper-cut out title sequence of a disjointed arm for Otto Preminger’s Man With A Golden Arm in 1955, depicting the story of a jazz singer caught up in heroin addiction. He went on to create memorable title sequences for Alfred Hitchcock for his films North by NorthWest, Vertigo and Psycho and helped the filmmaker plan the famous 70-shot shower sequence of the 1960 film. He helped Stanley Kubrick design the final battle scene in Spartacus and he won his own Oscar for documentary short subject with the film Why Man Creates in 1968.
With his wife Elaine, he worked on the film Broadcast News in 1987 and provided opening titles for Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas, Cape Fear and Casino. Born in New York, he spent much of his career in Los Angeles and died, at the age of 75, in 1996. We believe this fabulous artwork may be the only time this hugely talented graphic designer designed a menu cover. The New Frontier Hotel in Paradise, Nevada, first opened as the Last Frontier Hotel (it had a Western theme) in 1942 and closed for good in 2007.
Courtesy Private Collection.
Each print is accompanied by a copy of the interior menu where available.
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