Martyl Suzanne Schweig Langsdorf (St.
Louis, Missouri, USA, 1917-2013) was a Chicago landscape painter and lauded
designer of the Doomsday Clock. The artist, who went by Martyl professionally,
primarily painted abstract scenes of the American West and Midwest. Nestled
amongst the scientists of the Manhattan Project, Martyl was presented with the
opportunity to design a cover for the seminal June 1947 issue of their
publication, The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. She designed
the Doomsday clock, an iconic image that merged visual saliency with science.
Throughout her career, Martyl experimented with translating information in
different ways, ranging from abstract textures of nature to bold, urgent
messages. Martyl passed away in 2013 at the age of 96 with eight decades of
painting under her belt, having “established herself as the nexus of Chicago's
mid-century art and design scene.”
First ever The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists’ magazine cover, 1947