VISIT BY HISTORY OF GRAPHIC DESIGN CLASS
This morning the Wolfsonian-FIU Library hosted a visit by Rosanne Gibel and a couple of students enrolled in her History of Graphic Design class at the Art Institute of Ft. Lauderdale. Ms. Gibel and her students were treated to a guided tour through our public galleries and were given a privileged “sneak peek” at some of the artwork gracing the floors and walls of our administrative office spaces. Once in the library, the class had the opportunity to view close hand some rare exemplary graphic design materials from the late Victorian period, and examples of Art Nouveau, Arts & Crafts, Art Deco, Futurism, Vorticism, Constructivism, and other important artistic movements. Some highlights of the survey included: materials drawn from our collection of the work of Bill Bradley (1868-1962). Bradley, who was deeply influenced by British Arts & Crafts movement, was dubbed the “American Beardsley” and reputedly was the first American to dabble in the Art Nouveau style.
The students were also exposed to the work of Peter Behrens (1868-1940), a founding member of the Darmstadt Artists’ Colony in Germany and early advocate of design reform. On account of his pioneering work designing the entire corporate identity of AEG (Allgemeine Elektrizitäts-Gessellschaft), he is generally considered to be the world’s first industrial designer.
After viewing some Futurist and Constructivist masterpieces by Fortunato Depero (1892-1960) and El Lissitsky (1891-1941), the class ended their tour with an examination of some advertising designs from an archive of Herbert Bayer (1900-1985). Bayer, a student of the Weimar Bauhaus, became a prominent graphic designer in Berlin, and, after moving to the United States in 1938, organized the “Bauhaus 1919-1928” exhibition at the New York Museum of Modern Art and an important exponent of the New Bauhaus school in America.