Just One of Glaser’s Legacies

Posted inThe Daily Heller
Thumbnail for Bill Blackbeard's Final Splash Panel

“Milton Glaser’s SVA: A Legacy of Graphic Design,”Graphic Design,” a retrospective of nearly 100 works created for the School of Visual Arts, opens today at SVA’s Visual Arts Gallery, 601 West 26th Street, in New York City. The exhibition includes Glaser’soriginal artwork for posters seen by generations of NewYorkers as part of SVA’s ongoing promotional subway campaign; preparatory sketches, on public view for the first time; and various rare pieces, including the 1963 announcement for the course Glaser taught at SVA with thelate art director Henry Wolf (Esquire, Harper’s Bazaar, Show). Also on view is the model for the kinetic sculpture atop the new Visual Arts Theater, which Glaser designed with a tip of the hat to Tatlin’s Tower.

“I believe the work I’ve done for the School is more adventuresome thananything else I’ve done, primarily because of the audience,” says Glaser, who has been on the faculty since 1960.The works in “Milton Glaser’s SVA” are drawn from the Milton GlaserCollection at the Milton Glaser Design Study Center and Archives at SVASVA.

Glaser’s founding gift to the Archives included some 700 pieces oforiginal art, 1700 sketches, 380 posters, 150 prints, and otherpublications designed and/or illustrated by him. The exhibition is curated by MirkoIlić, Beth Kleber (archivist), Francis Di Tommaso (who also designed the installation), and me.

On a personal note: Despite having seen much of this work over the past few decades, I was truly surprised by the breadth, depth, and modernity of the total output.

August 31 through September 26, 2009

Visual Arts Gallery, 601 West 26th Street, New York City