How do graphic designers engage with Cooper Hewitt’s own graphic design collection? Curators Caitlin Condell and Emily M. Orr welcome their recent collaborators, designers Lucinda Hitchcock and Lucienne Roberts, to discuss their experiences of interpreting the work of commercial art pioneer E. McKnight Kauffer (American, 1890-1954). Hitchcock and Roberts each drew inspiration from the museum’s vast holdings of Kauffer’s work as they created complex and striking designs for a new book and exhibition at Cooper Hewitt. Hitchcock was captivated by Kauffer as a misfit and wanderer, designing the publication E. McKnight Kauffer: The Artist in Advertising to reflect the contradiction and movement in the artist’s career. For the exhibition Underground Modernist: E. McKnight Kauffer, Roberts’s design draws from Kauffer’s vibrant color palette and signature motifs to activate the visitor experience.
In this talk, learn how two contemporary designers tackled the joy and the challenge of presenting a groundbreaking commercial artist through two different graphic approaches. The publication E. McKnight Kauffer: The Artist in Advertising is available at SHOP Cooper Hewitt. The exhibition Underground Modernist: E. McKnight Kauffer is on view until April 10, 2022.