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Keith Godard (1938-2020)
Keith Godard was playful, funny, irreverent, and smart. Decked out in dapper bow ties and bright red shoes, he brought bubbles of joy to every occasion. He and Studio Works, the company he founded in 1986, contributed mightily to life in New York City. His works are preserved in many museum collections, including Cooper Hewitt,...
Image features bright red text set against a lime green background. The text is manipulated so that the letters join into a single swirling form evocative of smoke or flame.
Remembering Wes Wilson (1937–2020)
Designer Wes Wilson, who died on January 24, 2020, at age 82, created some of the most memorable posters of the psychedelic era. These wavy-gravy, acid-colored, hand-lettered provocations for the eye accompanied rock shows at San Francisco’s Fillmore Auditorium and Avalon Ballroom. Wilson’s posters for the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, The Association, and other bands...
Image features a poster consisting of white text on a black background. Upper center: The words "VISUAL AIDS" are printed with a cracked effect. Columns of text appear on the bottom with the names of arts organizations. Above the columns, in slightly larger, bolder text: “A Day Without Art December 1, 1989 A national day of mourning and call for action in response to the AIDS / crisis involving individuals and organizations including the following:”. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Day Without Art at Thirty
World AIDS Day (December 1), was designated in 1988 as an occasion to raise awareness of AIDS and to commemorate those lost to the disease. Developed by Visual AIDS, an organization that supports artists and communities affected by HIV and AIDS, this poster announces the first Day Without Art on December 1, 1989. Day Without...
In this Russian-designed poster for the German film ‘The Boxer’s Bride,’ the disembodied faces of a man and a woman smile out at the viewer from a black background, hovering above a stylized boxing ring. Their heads are enveloped in concentric circles, to give the impression of their presence as an apparition. In the boxing ring below, two fighters spar on a vibrant red floor, the white perimeter of the ring cutting rectangular outline, which appears as a stack of three suspended squares. Below, in blocky black letters on yellow, the title of the film in Russian. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
USSR In The Ring
In the early years of the Soviet Union, there was a strong urge to understand all elements of life in terms relating either to the bourgeoisie or the proletariat. Many longstanding assumptions pertaining to the role of arts and leisure in society were subject to ideological debate. Constructivist artists, eager to secure a role for...
Image features red and black interlocking figures creating an all over pattern. Distinct figures include two that are upside down at lower left and right on either side of "83". Enclosed by a red border. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Designed for Fun
In celebration of World Pride, June Object of the Day posts highlight LGBTQ+ designers and design in the collection. Today’s blog post was originally published February 8th, 2015. A favored hangout among the early 1980s East Village art scene, the Fun Gallery became home to some of the New York City’s most notable artists, including...
This poster for the exhibition “Impressions/Expressions: Black American Graphics” bears the title at top, with credit information below. A brightly colored image draws the eye at the center of the poster, a lithograph by the artist Margo Humphrey. A border of purple, red, and orange surrounds an abstracted scene, with a bright blue sky. A large yellow tiger, sketchily drawn, bears its teeth at the bottom of the frame, while a pair of figures float above, in embrace. Surrounding these figures, chili peppers, bananas, moons, and stars seem to rain from above,
First Impressions/Expressions Count
In October of 1979, an exhibition entitled Impressions/Expressions: Black American Graphics opened at the Studio Museum in Harlem. The show, associated with the second annual “Survival of the Black Artist” Fine Arts Festival, later traveled to Howard University—alma mater of the exhibition’s 26 year-old curator, Richard J. Powell.[1] The first survey of its kind, Impressions/Expressions...
Image features poster with hot pink background, an upcoming musical performance is announced. The singer’s name, Taana Gardner is written in curly red letters across the top, and a black and white portrait of the young singer gazes flirtatiously out at the viewer from within the frame of a red heart, out of which a devil’s tail emerges. She is also surrounded by red hearts of various sizes. Beneath her portrait, the title of her song, “Heartbeat” is printed in a bold, black, shattered typeface. The lower half of the poster provides information on the details of the upcoming show. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Pure Coquette
Although some may claim that disco died a messy media “death” in 1979, in the early ’80s, its “Heartbeat” could still be heard reverberating on radio airwaves and in dance clubs across the United States.[1] Fame first found Taana Gardner in 1978, when she became an overnight sensation after recording the vocals for West End...
Image features a poster design by Lester Beall for the Rural Electrification Administration. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Electrification for a Better Biscuit
This blog post was originally published on January 8, 2014.  By the 1930s, the vast majority of American urban dwellers had access to electricity in their homes and businesses.  But those in impoverished rural areas were often not serviced by private electric companies, who believed that it was not cost-effective for them to invest in...
Image features poster asymmetrically bisected into two separate color fields, featuring white egg on red-orange ground at right, with uneven black splotches gravitating towards (or emanating from) it; white ground at left, with black text at top left. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Hatching Good Design
Today’s Object of the Day is on view in Rebeca Méndez Selects (October 5, 2018–June 16, 2019) Produced by renowned American graphic designer Paul Rand, this poster announces the 1966 International Design Conference in Aspen (IDCA). Rand is known for his influential contributions to the advertising industry, including his logos for IBM, Westinghouse, ABC, and...