The Art of Shop Windows – Masterpieces of Visual Communications

To me shop window displays are a an artistic medium. Most displays out there are not artworks, not even creative, but those that are – are simply wonderful masterpieces of visual communications.

Some of the greatests artists have created shop window displays:

Marcel Duchamp:


Store window of Gotham Book Mart in New York which was decorated by

Marcel Duchamp in 1945 to promote Andre Breton’s book ‘Arcane 17′.

Duchamp’s first Ready-Made was a snow shovel (1915) that attracted his eye in a household goods store window. He named the work “In Advance of the Broken Arm”. Windows in general were a major theme in Duchamp’s work over decades.


Salvador Dali:


Salvador Dali in Bonwit Teller window display, 1939. Image via Europa Star.


Andy Warhol:


Andy Warhol’s Bonwit Teller display, 1961. Image via Art21.

By the way, while Warhol was still an art student, he got a part-time job designing windows for the Joseph Horne Co. in downtown Pittsburgh.


I have been following Retail Store Windows blog for three years now. It is a window to some of the world’s best shop window designs, and I highly recommend signing up for their newsletter. It is uplifting, and very inspiring in terms of branding and visual communications.

This last holiday season Google have launched Window Wonderland:

A high-resolution presentation of the windows at 18 major NYC stores. Google have created a fluid, engaging visual experience out of them. You can view it online, or via an app, and even on a VR headset.

Here is a promo clip featuring a few fantastic windows from the 2016 holiday season:

When you have more than just one minute to spare, this is a fun online experience.




Sources for this post (which will be edited and added to every once in a while):


Feature image: Surveillance cameras concept developed in a shop window for Louis Vuitton. 

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