Thursday, July 23, 2015

Buffalo Bill Cody in Cedar Falls IA in 1912

Greetings from Buffalo Bill
In an earlier post on William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody, we shared the story of his only visit to Cedar Falls IA, in 1912, as recalled by Stella Robinson Wynegar. Below is a different account by her son.

Claud R. Wynegar, The Century and I: Memories of Cedar Falls and Beyond. Pacific Palisades CA: Seamount Publications, 1999, p. 51—

I do not remember the year [it was 1912], but I was a small boy when the Buffalo Bill and Pawnee Bill Circus came to town. They put up their tents out West First Street in Mularkey's pasture [sic, Mullarky's pasture, now called Riverview Park, at Ellen Street and South Park Road]. It was in the summer. I was alone and I got to the grounds early. I had a seat in the open air tent to watch the "battles" between the white men and the Indians, and a lot of fancy riding and roping of horses.

Buffalo Bill was on a horse with a shotgun. Someone ahead of him would throw a glass ball into the air and he would shoot at it and break it into small pieces. There was number of tents. I looked into all of them. It was a show a bit difficult to describe. There were a few wild bison, quite a few cowboys, Indians in native costumes, a few concessions where souvenirs were sold and food stands. It was the first circus I ever saw.

Later in the afternoon my mother drove out in our buggy to get me. While looking for me she met Buffalo Bill and had a nice visit with him. No doubt that was the beginning of my interest in the American West, and it has always stayed with me. I own some Remington bronzes, some western pictures and books about the people who were part of that era.
 

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Frank Lloyd Wright Rescues Einstein

Albert Einstein (Public Domain)
Physicist Albert Einstein and architect Frank Lloyd Wright apparently met for the first time in 1931, at the house called La Miniatura, in Pasadena CA, which Wright had designed for Alice Millard, a rare-book dealer. According to an essay by Milton Cameron

When Albert Einstein first met Frank Lloyd Wright, he mistook the architect for a musician. Leaping from his chair, Einstein announced that he was returning home to fetch his violin and would be back shortly to perform a duet. Only upon his return did he learn that Wright was not a pianist.

Frank Lloyd Wright (Public Domain)


That same year, a news article reported that when Einstein stopped in Chicago on his return from Pasadena, Wright was standing beside him when the famous physicist was mobbed by a crowd of 2000 women, who were Chicago-area peace advocates. The story is told in the following excerpts from FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT SAVES EINSTEIN FROM FRIENDLY MOB, Scientist Greeted by 2000 Chicago Pacifists at Station; Wright Draws Him Up Train Steps in Capital Times (Madison WI), March 4, 1931—

The world-famous physicist, who has been the guest of scientists in Pasadena, was all but mowed down by 2000 women, representing every peace organization in Chicago, as he stepped off the Manhattan Limited in the Pennsylvania station…

Smiling and undaunted, the gentle little man, himself an ardent peace advocate, stepped down among the milling mob of women, shaking hands and listening wordlessly as each volunteered a hurried greeting.

Finally Frank Lloyd Wright, the architect, and Dr. Carl Beck, both long-time friends,•• fearing for the limb if not the life of the distinguished scientist, drew him up the train steps and back to the observation platform, where he talked briefly in his own language.

•  I'm not sure I understand. Einstein is described here as a "gentle little man," yet a quick online search finds that he was apparently 5 foot 9 inches. Wright, on the other hand, claimed to be 5 foot 8.5 inches, but people often speculate that he may have been even shorter, thereby accounting for the lower ceiling heights in some of his buildings. Yet, in this account, it is the diminutive Wright who hoists the larger Einstein onto the railroad platform.

•• If Einstein and Wright had met for the first time at that same meeting in Pasadena, how could they have been "long-time friends"?

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Suite of Posters | Kellie Heath

copyright © Kellie Heath
Above and below A suite of three posters by graphic designer Kellie Heath (2015 graduate), Department of Art, University of Northern Iowa. Designed as promotional posters for the university's College of Humanities, Arts and Sciences (CHAS), c2014. Copyright © Kellie Heath.

•••

James Geary (recalling US Chief Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.) in Geary's Guide to the World's Great Aphorists. New York: Bloomsbury USA, 2007, p. 90—

Once, while in his nineties, he passed a beautiful young woman on the street and sighed to his companion, "Oh, to be seventy again!"

copyright © Kellie Heath

copyright © Kellie Heath

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Buffalo Bill in Cedar Falls IA | 1917 Double Bill

William F. Cody shaking hands
Above Looped film footage of William F. Cody, aka Buffalo Bill, possibly filmed by the Edison Company, which recorded a series of brief films pertaining to Cody's Wild West performances. We have no explanation for the vigor of his handshake.

•••

My father was born in northeastern Iowa in 1901. Buffalo Bill was still touring the country in those years, appearing with his traveling show. He performed in Cresco and Decorah, one time each, which may account for my father's memory of having actually attended a Wild West performance. Cody died in January 1917, two months before the following news article appeared in an Iowa newspaper—

Anon, BILL CODY'S DOUBLE: Col. Curt L. Alexander, of Nebraska, Startles Cedar Falls Lads in the Marshalltown Times-Republican (Marshalltown IA), March 6, 1917—

"Gee! Buffalo Bill ain't dead! Look, fellers!"

That's the way a small boy directed a bunch of his fellows to Col. Curt L. Alexander, of Hastings, Neb., walking the streets of Cedar Falls (IA) today. And a small army of boys greeted him every time he appeared.

Colonel Alexander is an exact "double" of the late Col. W.F. Cody, from his flowing hair, moustache, goatee and big sombrero to the tips of his cowboy boots. He is here visiting his nephew, Lloyd Alexander,  a prominent clothing merchant, while en route home from Chicago.

Besides looking enough like the famous "Buffalo Bill" to have been his twin brother, Colonel Alexander is an old plainsman and scout and as much like Colonel Cody in his habits. In fact, he was a lifelong intimate friend of "Buffalo Bill," working with him as a freighter across the plains when the west was young and in later years traveling for weeks at a time with Colonel Cody's great wild west show, where his remarkable likeness to his friend caused many amusing situations to arise.

•••

Since first posting the above news excerpt, we have also found an article by David Whitsett, titled A CEDAR FALLS STOP: Four US Presidents, MLK Among Famous Visitors to Town, in the Cedar Falls Times (May 1, 2013), which is online here. It tells the story of the one occasion in which Buffalo Bill performed with the Wild West in Cedar Falls on August 31, 1912. Here is the excerpt pertaining to that—

[Cedar Falls resident] Stella Wynegar recalled that his [Cody's] crew set up their tents in “Mullarkey’s pasture,” which was on the northwest corner of Cedar Falls. She says that she and her son, Claude, did not attend the show but that they “were wandering around the grounds after his show, and Buffalo Bill came up and talked with us. He asked about our family and told us about his life and where he’d been. He was very interesting and very nice.”

Another Cedar Falls resident, Marie Cook, also recalled Buffalo Bill’s visit. She remembered that she and her family were living on West First Street near where his show was set up, “He came walking along and saw the chickens in our yard. He offered my grandma $1.50 to cook a chicken dinner for his troupe and she did it!” 

Both Marie and Stella also remembered that Annie Oakley was one of the stars of the Wild West Show when it was here. She was, perhaps, America’s first female superstar. She was a true sharp shooter who could split a playing card edge-on with her .22 rifle and put several holes in it before it hit the ground.

NOTE: There is a Wynegar Oral History Collection (Manuscript Record Series MsC-18) in the Special Collections and University Archives holdings at the Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Froebel's Kindergarten | Documentary Film

Froebel's Kindergarten Gifts 2-6 (sets of wooden blocks)
Scott Bultman is a Michigan-based scholar and collector whose father manufactured educational toys, including the well-known wooden blocks (shown above) and other "construction toys" that were used in Friedrich Froebel's original kindergarten ("children's garden").

These are of increasing interest because it has been documented that "hands-on" experience of this kind was critical in the formative years of Frank Lloyd Wright (he repeatedly credited Froebel's blocks with enabling him to see gestalts, to look at the forest instead of the trees), as well as Buckminster Fuller, Le Corbusier and others.

Several years ago, the online fundraising initiative called Kickstarter was successfully used to reprint the best book on the subject, Norman Brosterman's Inventing Kindergarten. Now, Scott Bultman is hoping to use the same method to raise the funds to make a documentary film about Froebel, the history of kindergarten, and the manner in which it contributed to early childhood education. It's a great idea, and an effort worth supporting. To find out more, visit the project's Kickstarter link, which includes an informative video clip on the goal of this endeavor.



While exploring some of the pertinent links, we also unexpectedly found information about an exhibit (long since past, regrettably) of kindergarten-related artifacts, from Brosterman's collection. Reproduced below are two wonderful posters that advertised that exhibition, titled Learning by Design, at Northeastern University (Boston) in 2014.


Saturday, April 11, 2015

Typographic Poster | Samuel Garwood

Typographic Poser | Samuel Garwood
Above Poster by Samuel Garwood, graphic design student, Department of Art, University of Northern Iowa (2015), in celebration of the typeface Helvetica.

•••

James Joyce—

Come forth, Lazarus! But he came fifth and lost the job.

•••

Alec Guinness, My Name Escapes Me: The Diary of a Retiring Actor. New York: Viking Penguin, 1997, p. 135—

The raising of Lazarus from the dead is the subject of today's Gospel. The current sub-supermarket translation has Christ asking, "Where have you put him?"—as if Lazarus might be a basket, and later, "Lazarus, here! Come out!"—as if calling a terrier digging in a rabbit warren.

•••

Robert Byrne—

Cogito ergo dim sum: Therefore I think these are pork buns.

Typographic Poster | Erin Keiser

Typographic Poster © Erin Keiser 2015
Above Poster by Erin Keiser, graphic design student, Department of Art, University of Northern Iowa (2015), in celebration of the typeface Myriad, designed by Robert Slimbach and Carol Twombly.

•••

Samuel Clemens, The Autobiography of Mark Twain. Charles Neider, arr. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1959, p. 3—

For many years I believed that I remembered helping my grandfather drink his whiskey toddy when I was six weeks old but I don't tell about that any more now; I am grown old and my memory is not as active as it used to be. When I was younger I could remember anything, whether it had happened or not, but my faculties are decaying now and soon I should be so I cannot remember any but the things that never happened.

•••

Franklin P. Jones—

Experience enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Art History Poster | Bailey Higgins

Art History Poster © Bailey Higgins 2015
Above Poster by Bailey Higgins, graphic design student, Department of Art, University of Northern Iowa (2015), announcing a Call for Papers for the 5th Annual Art History Symposium at the same school on April 10, 2015.

•••

William Carlos Williams, The Autobiography of William Carlos Williams. New York: Random House, 1951, pp. 120-121—

[American expatriate painter Elihu Vedder in Italy] lived on a bare height somewhere in the fields of central Capri above the sea, and showed us his device for ridding his studio of flies. The screen door at the entrance was arranged in the usual two panels, one above, one below, a crosspiece in the center. But this crosspiece was set an inch back from the wire mesh, above and below, these edges thus remaining free.

"Flies always want to get out," he explained to us, "and will fly to the screen and the light of day. But we prevent them from escaping by barring the exits. [Instead] I leave a space for them. Thus I don't have flies." And he didn't, not many.

•••

Joseph Joubert

To teach is to learn twice.

Art History Poster | Gina Hamer

Art History Poster © Gina Hamer 2015
Above Poster by Gina Hamer, graphic design student, Department of Art, University of Northern Iowa (2015), announcing a Call for Papers for the 5th Annual Art History Symposium at the same school on April 10, 2015.

•••

Henry Oettinger [80-year-old typesetter, interviewed by Studs Terkel in Coming of Age]—

There is only one more thing I want to do as the time is running out. I want to win the lottery, buy three ships, man them with American Indians, and send them over to discover Italy.

•••

George Ade

One man's poison ivy is another man's spinach.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Typographic Poster | Katherine Jamtgaard

Typographic Poster © Katherine Jamtgaard 2015
Above Poster by Katherine Jamtgaard, graphic design student, Department of Art, University of Northern Iowa (2015), in celebration of the typeface Eurostile, designed by Aldo Novarese.

•••

Henry Moore, the eminent British sculptor—

[While studying painting at the Royal College of Art in 1921-24, one of his teachers was Arthur Beresford Pite, Professor of Architecture, who one day] arrived in front of my painting and for several minutes spotlighted his violent dislike of it. "This student, he said, "has been feeding on garbage." 

That Friday afternoon I could not work, but wandered around Hyde Park to work off my hurt feelings. I almost decided I would leave the college and study on my own.

Typographic Poster | Alexandria Toszegi

Typographic poster © Alexandria Toszegi 2015
Above Poster by Alexandria Toszegi, graphic design student, Department of Art, University of Northern Iowa (2015), in celebration of type designer Paul Renner and his design of the typeface Futura.

•••

Fran Lebowitz—

If thine enemy offend thee, give his child a drum.

•••

Judith and Neil Morgan, Dr. Seuss and Mr. Geisel. New York: Random House, 1995, p. 73—

One unborn scheme [devised by Dr. Seuss and his friend Hugh Troy] was to launch a private detective agency named Surely, Goodness and Mercy. Its slogan was to be biblical: "[Surely, Goodness and Mercy] Will follow you all the days of your life."

UNI Graphic Designers Win Big at AAF Awards

UNI CHAS Newsletter (March 2015)
Above Page 7 from the March 2015 issue of The Update, published by the College of Humanities, Arts and Sciences, University of Northern Iowa.

Graphic design students and faculty in the UNI Department of Art had ample reason to be pleased. In the wake of one of its students, Aaron Van Fossen, having been chosen by Communication Arts magazine (March-April issue) as one of the top 15 graphic design students in the nation, Aaron and other current students (among them Rachael Bair and Rhiannon Rasmussen) were awarded other prizes at this year's AAF judging, in both student and professional categories.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Typographic Poster | Alex Waters

Typographic poster © Alex Waters (2015)
Above Poster by Alex Waters, graphic design student, Department of Art, University of Northern Iowa (2015), in celebration of printer Claude Garamond and the typeface that now bears his name, Garamond.

•••

Larry Rivers, What Did I Do?: The Unauthorized Autobiography (New York: HarperCollins, 1992), p. 163.

The studio behind these windows [below the engraved building sign at 122 Second Avenue in New York] was the largest and lightest of the three on the fifth floor. Harry Holtzman, an artist, held the lease. He brought Piet Mondrian to the United States and offered him the use of that space. Piet walked up the five flights to look Harry's place over, decided he was not up to the climb. Harry found him a studio a little more down to earth, uptown. If 122 had had an elevator, Mondrian's Broadway Boogie-Woogie would have been called Second Avenue Boogie-Woogie.

UNI Art History Symposium | Erin Keiser 2015

Art History Symposium poster © Erin Keiser (2015)
Above Poster by Erin Keiser, graphic design student, Department of Art, University of Northern Iowa (2015), announcing the schedule for the upcoming 5th Annual Art History Symposium at the same school, beginning at 5:00 pm on Friday, April 10, 2015. This was chosen as the winning events poster by the UNI Art History faculty. The top student art history papers (to be formally presented that afternoon at 5:00 pm) were submitted by Kelly Cunningham, Dana Potter and Linda Patrick. Awards will be announced at 6:00 pm, followed by a keynote address by Ohio University art historian Dr. Jennie Klein on "Spiritual Athletes: Performing Endurance." Free and open to the public at the Kamerick Art Building auditorium on the UNI campus.

•••

Robert MacNeil, Wordstruck: A Memoir. New York: Viking, 1989, p. 52—

If scientists could examine my brain, as they do the contents of murder victims' stomachs, they would find that I had gorged myself when young on plum puddings and fruitcakes of this seventeenth-century prose [of Anglican Church liturgy]; each word simple in itself, the combination rich and fruity, loved for the taste on the tongue, though years in the digesting; words for their own sake.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

UNI Graphic Design Portfolio Night 2015

Portfolio Night Poster © Aaron Van Fossen (2015)
Above Poster by Aaron Van Fossen, graphic design student, Department of Art, University of Northern Iowa (2015), announcing the program's annual Graphic Design Portfolio Night. To be held on the first floor of the Kamerick Art Building South (adjacent to the Gallery of Art) from 5:30-7:00 pm on Friday, April 17, 2015. Open to the public. Drop by any time, for as long as you'd like, to see the senior portfolios of (and to talk with) some of our graduating graphic design majors.

Among those exhibiting are Zach Bird, Kramer Dixon, Chase Murphy, Jeffery Fenton, Claire Jacobmeyer, Stephanie Mathena, Chelsea McNamee, Daniel O'Shea, Hannah Orlandini, Ali Schultz, Joel Steger, Danielle Shearer, Aaron Van Fossen and Maureen Villavicencio. Thanks to all the students, and to the event's tireless organizer, UNI Professor Phil Fass.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Art History Poster | Olivia Jaschen

Art History Poster © Olivia Jaschen (2015)
Above Poster by Olivia Jaschen, graphic design student, Department of Art, University of Northern Iowa (2015), announcing a Call for Papers for the 5th Annual Art History Symposium at the same school on April 10, 2015.

•••

Lady Dorothy Nevill

Guinea pig, there's a tasty dish for you, but it was always a job to make your cook do it. They want bakin' same as the gypsies serve the hedgehogs. I tried eatin' donkey too, but I had to stop that, for it made me stink.

•••

Charles Dickens, The Pickwick Papers

Miss Bolo rose from the table considerably agitated, and went straight home, in a flood of tears and a sedan chair.

•••

Anon—

I'm not an actor. I just play one on tv.

Art History Poster | Turner Kopecky

Art History Poster © Turner Kopecky (2015)
Above Poster by Turner Kopecky, graphic design student, Department of Art, University of Northern Iowa (2015), announcing a Call for Papers for the 5th Annual Art History Symposium at the same school on April 10, 2015.

•••

Margaret Geller, interviewed in Joan Evelyn Ames, Mastery: Interviews with 30 Remarkable People. Portland OR: Rudra Press, 1997, p. 90—

When students ask me about training to be a scientist, I tell them to read broadly, not just in science. It's important because I believe that creativity really comes from a broad education. You can be technically skilled, but the ability to make connections requires borrowing and reformulating ideas from other places.

Typographic Poster | Erin Keiser

Typographic Poster © Erin Keiser (2015)
Above Poster by Erin Keiser, graphic design student, Department of Art, University of Northern Iowa (2015), in celebration of printer Claude Garamond and the typeface that now bears his name, Garamond.

•••

Robert MacNeil, Wordstruck: A Memoir. New York: Viking, 1989, p. 109—

A painter's eye memorizes, as does a musician's ear. The memory-banks they create are fundamental to their training. Memorizing poems gives all of us, amateurs of language, our own memory-banks. Sentimental, lyric, narrative, adventurous, dramatic, bombastic, gothic, facetious, satiric—we heap the phrases up and our amazing brains keep them ready to leap out, bidden or unbidden—all accessible—in milliseconds.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Bald Eagles Galore Right Here in River City

Photo © Mary Snyder Behrens (2015)
Above We live on a small five-acre "farm" in northeast Iowa, with the nearest river about 15 miles away. Yet, we have bald eagles almost daily now, perched in the trees along our back property line, away from the road. One per day is common, but for the past several days, we've had three at a time (mature, with white heads), sitting atop the trees all day, and sometimes throughout the night. Here's one, photographed from the moving car, which was feeding on a rabbit in a ditch beside the road. About 90 minutes northeast of here, in Decorah IA, is a popular online "eagle cam."

Friday, March 20, 2015

Typography Poster | Jordan Deutmeyer

Typography Poster © Jordan Deutmeyer (2015)
Above Poster by Jordan Deutmeyer, graphic design student, Department of Art, University of Northern Iowa (2015), in celebration of type designer Aldo Novarese and his design of the typeface Eurostile.

•••

Leslie (Les) Dawson Jr, The Malady Lingers On and Other Great Groaners. Arrow Books, 1982—

The policeman led the accused into the dock and the prisoner bowed his head as the judge thundered to him: "Is this the first time you've been up before me!" The accused shrugged his shoulders and replied: "I don't know…what time do you normally get up?"

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Vesterheim Talk on Mid-Century Modernism

Vesterheim Museum talk (Decorah IA)
Above Coming soon to the Vesterheim, The National Norwegian-American Museum & Heritage Center, in Decorah IA, at 2:00 pm on Sunday, March 29, 2015. Less Is More, More Or Less: The Roots of Mid-Century Modern Design, a richly illustrated talk by author and graphic designer Roy R. Behrens, Professor of Art and Distinguished Scholar at the University of Northern Iowa. More>>>

Monday, March 16, 2015

UNI Graphic Designer | Top 15 in Nation

Student Showcase, March-April 2015 issue of CA Magazine
Above Page 93 of the current issue (March-April 2015) of the California-based graphic design newsstand magazine, Communication Arts (CA) Magazine. It highlights the work of UNI graphic design student Aaron Van Fossen, who has been selected (in the words of the magazine's editors) as one of "the fifteen most promising design, photography and illustration students in visual communications programs from all across the country." Originally from Bettendorf IA, Aaron is pursuing a BA in Graphic Design in the Department of Art at the University of Northern Iowa, and will graduate in May 2015.

As shown by the examples reproduced above, some of the projects undertaken in the Department of Art's graphic design program are pro bono (free of charge), completed for the purpose of enriching the quality of community life. Among the featured works above are a poster for the UNI Department of Art's Annual Juried Student Art Exhibition; a poster promoting an annual event titled "An Afternoon with Frank Lloyd Wright" at Cedar Rock State Park, in Quasqueton IA; and a commemorative poster about Iowa-born Olympic wrestler Dan Gable, for an exhibition at the National Wrestling Museum Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum, in Waterloo IA.

More of Aaron Van Fossen's recent work is featured online here.

CD Portfolio Design | Stephanie Berry

CD Portfolio Package © Stephanie Berry (2014)
Above Design for a CD Portfolio package (inside and out) by Stephanie Berry, graphic design student, Department of Art, University of Northern Iowa (2014).

•••

Nancy Perkins, quoted in Remar Sutton and Mary Abbott Waite, eds., The Common Ground Book: A Circle of Friends. Latham NY: British American Publishing, 1992, p. 367—

Back around 1900, my father's family owned a large, prosperous farm outside Postville, Iowa. They lived modestly on the form but had plenty. Each summer they used to order about $500 worth of fireworks to put on a spectacular display for the county. And my dad's grandfather never went around without at least a couple of thousand dollars in his overalls.

•••

Buck Johnson, ibid., p. 371—

Mama had a saying she used when I wanted something. She'd say, "Well, honey, you can't get that. Like it says in the Bible, 'Blessed are they that want not, for they shall not be disappointed.'" Of course, it wasn't from the Bible at all; she made it up.

Art History Poster | Jordan Wolter

Art History Poster © Jordan Wolter (2015)
Above Poster by Jordan Wolter, graphic design student, Department of Art, University of Northern Iowa (2015), announcing a Call for Papers for the 5th Annual Art History Symposium at the same school on April 10, 2015.

•••

Jim Swann, quoted in Remar Sutton and Mary Abbott Waite, eds., The Common Ground Book: A Circle of Friends. Latham NY: British American Publishing, 1992, p. 32—

[My children and I] have a great game. It would be fun for grownups to do if they could let their hair down. The kids give me two animals and I make up a story. Of course they try to think of the most outrageous combination, like a cat and a roach, animals that will stump me.

•••

From the introduction to Archy & Mehitabel (a cockroach and a cat) at the Don Marquis website

Archy is a cockroach with the soul of a poet, and Mehitabel is an alley cat with a celebrated past — she claims she was Cleopatra in a previous life. Together, cockroach and cat are the foundation of one of the most engaging collections of light poetry to come out of the twentieth century.

“expression is the need of my soul,” declares Archy, who labored as a free-verse poet in an earlier incarnation. At night, alone, he dives furiously on the keys of Don Marquis’ typewriter to describe a cockroach’s view of the world, rich with cynicism and humor. It’s difficult enough to operate the typewriter’s return bar to get a fresh line of paper; all of Archy’s dispatches are written lowercase, and without punctuation, because he is unable to hit both shift and letter keys to produce a capital letter.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Typographic Poster | Justin Allen

Typographic Poster © Justin Allen (2015)
Above Poster by Justin Allen, graphic design student, Department of Art, University of Northern Iowa (2015), in celebration of type designer Paul Renner and his design of the typeface Futura.

•••

Robert Motherwell
I sometimes think of pictures as analogues to human relations. There is an interaction between the canvas and oneself, with many levels of feeling. Art is an experience, not an "object." If you look at a work as an object and find yourself noticing the machinery of it all, something is wrong. A picture is finished when you experience it vividly, when it makes you aware of the resonance and mystery of a realized expression.

Typographic Poster | Bailey Higgins

Typographic poster © Bailey Higgins (2015)
Above Poster by Bailey Higgins, graphic design student, Department of Art, University of Northern Iowa (2015), in celebration of type designer Paul Renner and his design of the typeface Futura.

•••

James Thurber
I loathe the expression "What makes him tick"… A person not only ticks, he also chimes and strikes the hour, falls and breaks and has to be put together again, and sometimes stops like an electric clock in a thunderstorm.

Typographic Poster | Gina Hamer

Typographic poster © Gina Hamer (2015)
Above Poster by Gina Hamer, graphic design student, Department of Art, University of Northern Iowa (2015), in celebration of type designer Matthew Carter and his design of the typeface Verdana.

•••

Robert Motherwell, "The Universal Language of Children's Art and Modernism" in American Scholar 40 No 1 (Winter 1970), pp. 24-27—

…when my children were small, they used to think that the act of painting on my part consisted of squinting with one eye, with the other closed, and they would shriek with laughter, "Oh daddy, you are painting again!" as I would squint at a picture of the wall. What I was doing, of course, by squinting, was blurring the particulars in the painting as much as I could in order to see more clearly the emphases. So the children were not mistaken. I suppose that is why Goya, if he did as reputed, put on the finishing strokes of his canvas by candlelight.

Art History Poster | Shane Rumpza

Symposium Poster © Shane Rumpza (2015)
Above Poster by Shane Rumpza, graphic design student, Department of Art, University of Northern Iowa (2015), announcing a Call for Papers for the 5th Annual Art History Symposium at the same school on April 10, 2015.

•••

Sigmund Freud (Jokes and Their Relationship to the Unconscious)—

The bridegroom was most disagreeably surprised when the bride was introduced to him, and drew the broker to one side and whispered his remonstrances: "Why have you brought me here?" he asked reproachfully. "She's ugly and old, she squints and has bad teeth and bleary eyes…" "You needn't lower your voice," interrupted the broker, "she's deaf as well."

Friday, February 27, 2015

Turner Kopecky | Futura Typeface Poster

Futura Typeface Poster © Turner Kopecky (2015)
Above Poster by Turner Kopecky, graphic design student, Department of Art, University of Northern Iowa (2015), in commemoration of Paul Renner and his design of the typeface Futura.

***

Morris Horowitz [pseudonym], a peddler and Russian-Jewish immigrant, recalling what he witnessed in Chicago in 1871 on the night of the Great Chicago Fire, as quoted in Ann Banks, ed., First-Person America. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1980, pp. 32-33—

No one slept that night. People gathered on the streets and all kinds of reasons were given for the fire. I stood near a minister talking to a group of men. He said the fire was sent by God as a warning that the people were wicked. He said there were too many saloons in Chicago, too many houses of prostitution. A woman who heard this said that a fire started in a barn was a direct warning from God since Jesus was also born in a barn. I talked to a man who lived next door to Mrs. O'Leary, and he told me that the fire started in Mrs. O'Leary's barn. She went out to milk the cow while it was beginning to get dark. The cow kicked the lamp over and that's how the fire started. There were all kinds of songs made up about the fire. Years after, people were still singing songs about it…

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Posters | Gina Hamer & Bailey Higgins

Poster © Gina Hamer (2015)
Each spring, in the Department of Art at the University of Northern Iowa, members of the Art History Faculty (Charles Adelman and Elizabeth Sutton) sponsor a competition in which students prepare and submit original research papers. The best ones, as determined by preliminary screening and by an invited juror (this year Jennie Klein from Ohio University) are then presented in public by their student authors. This takes place at the Annual Art History Symposium (scheduled for Friday, April 10, 2015), during which six hundred dollars is awarded in prize money. For the past two years, the department's graphic design students have helped to support this tradition by designing promotional posters (also a juried competition). Shown here (above and below) are this year's top two Call for Papers posters, as chosen by the art historians. The student designers are Gina Hamer (above) and Bailey Higgins (below).

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Richard Critchfield, Those Days: An American Album (New York: Laurel 1987), p. 252. An excerpt from a letter to Anne (Williams) Critchfield (the author's mother) from [first name] Hadwen, Jr., who was then teaching at the American Academy in Guatemala (c1927)—

…Last Sunday we took in a bullfight. Indians danced in the plaza, wearing fancy dress and masks. We had a great time. Bull got out of the ring & hundreds of us ran toward the church where it turned around & went the other way. Threw several men into the air as it went & I think one was killed. But I doubt if it was as dangerous as driving on Iowa's Lincoln Highway on a Sunday afternoon…

We live just 12 miles north of the Lincoln Highway.

Poster © Bailey Higgins (2015)

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Frank Lloyd Wright Poster | Désiree Dahl

Frank Lloyd Wright Poster © Désiree Dahl 2014
Cedar Rock, originally known as the Lowell Walter Residence, was designed in 1950 by American architect Frank Lloyd Wright. An exemplar of his Usonian style, it is located near Quasqueton IA, and has been designated as Cedar Rock State Park. For the past ten years, the Friends of Cedar Rock organization has held an annual seminar—called An Afternoon with Frank Lloyd Wright—in which speakers talk about Wright's life, beliefs and achievements.

To celebrate the tradition of that seminar, in the fall of 2014, graphic design students in the Department of Art at the University of Northern Iowa, were asked to design a series of posters that focus on Wright and his accomplishments, not limited to Cedar Rock. The poster above was designed by Désiree Dahl in a course in Digital Image Design (2014).

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As Viennese-born architect Richard Neutra explains in his autobiography, Life and Shape (NYC: Appleton Century Crofts, 1962), long before he immigrated to the US he was well-acquainted with the architecture of Frank  Lloyd Wright and that of Wright's mentor, Louis Henri Sullivan. When Neutra moved to Chicago (in the early 1920s), he recalls (pp. 181-182)—

I went to see all Sullivan's buildings, and found them extraordinary. Here in the middle of North American, I thought, was work which could be compared with what Otto Wagner had been doing in the Vienna of Central Europe. And that was the very highest accolade I was capable of giving to anything built. Sullivan was living in this town [Chicago], I found out, and I wanted by all means to see him.

But by this time, Sullivan was nearing the end of his life. In poor health and drinking heavily, he and his wife had separated, and he was living alone in a hotel room. When Neutra told other architects that he wanted to meet Sullivan—

…they all laughed at me. Sullivan? they asked,—isn't he that old drunkard? He's a pauper now, and is being supported by his friends; each pitches in five dollars a month.…he's living in a run-down tenement or "hotel" on Warner Avenue, around Thirty-Fifth Street or so.

Finally, when Neutra located Sullivan—

He was very broken, while I tried by best to cheer him up. But he kept dwelling on his despondency and lack of following. The loneliness of genius is something horrible to behold.

Soon after they met, Sullivan died, and Neutra was one of the few who attended the funeral. There, he was surprised to see Sullivan's former student, Frank Lloyd Wright, "who had come all the way from California, where he was working, to attend the funeral," even though he and Sullivan had not spoken to one another for many years.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Frank Lloyd Wright Poster | Kelly Cunningham

Wright poster © Kelly Cunningham 2014
Cedar Rock, originally known as the Lowell Walter Residence, was designed in 1950 by American architect Frank Lloyd Wright. An exemplar of his Usonian style, it is located near Quasqueton IA, and has been designated as Cedar Rock State Park. For the past ten years, the Friends of Cedar Rock organization has held an annual seminar—called An Afternoon with Frank Lloyd Wright—in which speakers talk about Wright's life, beliefs and achievements.

To celebrate the tradition of that seminar, in the fall of 2014, graphic design students in the Department of Art at the University of Northern Iowa, were asked to design a series of posters that focus on Wright and his accomplishments, not limited to Cedar Rock. The poster above was designed by Kelly Cunningham in a course in Digital Image Design (2014).

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Richard Neutra, Life and Shape [his autobiography] . New York: Appleton Century Crofts, 1962, pp. 179. Neutra, a Viennese-born architect, came to the US in 1923, and eventually moved to Chicago, where he searched for buildings by Frank Lloyd Wright, whose work he had admired while living in Europe—

I looked around the western part of Chicago, and south, near the university, but nobody could tell me anything about this famous architect I was talking about. People were flabbergasted that I should have picked up the ideals of a great Chicagoan in a European library…

But where were the prairies, the woods, the lawns? Where, anyway, was Woodlawn Avenue? Once I got there, I would actually find the famous Robie House. My heart always skipped when I imagined the moment: I would ring the doorbell and ask in very broken English, "Is Mr. Robie in?" And so I finally did.

"Mr. Robie? Never heard of him." There was a Mrs. Wilson living there. She had bought the house some years back, and was probably the fifth owner. She wasn't at all enthusiastic about it—but to me it was a lovely, wonderful place.

I asked Mrs. Wilson why she had bought the house. "Oh," she answered, cold fish, "I got it very cheap. The man who owned it had to get out. No, she didn't particularly like it, and she had all kinds of petty criticisms. Nothing was working, of course; at that time the house was already some fifteen years old, and badly neglected.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Miami Art Deco Postage | Stephanie Berry

Stephanie Berry © 2014
Above Hypothetical postage stamp, commemorating Art Deco architecture, by University of Northern Iowa graphic design student Stephanie Berry (2014). Reproduced below is a block of stamps that repeats and juxtaposes the single stamp to produce a synergistic whole.

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British sculptress Clare Sheridan, in a diary (1921) as quoted in Teresa Carpenter, ed., New York Diaries. NY: Modern Library, 2012, pp. 16-17—

Mr. [Horace] Liveright, my publisher, fetched me and took me to the Ritz where we dined with [various notable people, among them American financier and presidential adviser Bernard Baruch]…Mr. Baruch (whose name I mistook for Brooke) has white fair, fine features and stands 6 ft. 4. I gathered from the general conversation that I was talking to someone whom I should have heard of, and as I could think of no distinguished Brooke but [English poet] Rupert Brooke, I asked if he was related. And then Mr. Baruch rather reprovingly spelt his name for me. Instantly by a faint glimmer of memory, "Wall Street" came to my mind and I seemed to have heard in London that he was a friend of [her cousin] Winston [Churchill].

Stephanie Berry © 2014

Miami Art Deco Postage | Danielle Schweitzer

Danielle Schweitzer © 2014
Above Hypothetical postage stamp, commemorating Art Deco architecture, by University of Northern Iowa graphic design student Danielle Schweitzer (2014). Reproduced below is a block of stamps that repeats and juxtaposes the single stamp to produce a synergistic whole.

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Richard Neutra (Austrian-born American architect) in his autobiography, Life and Shape. New York: Appleton-Century Crofts, 1962, p. 123. In this passage, he describes his experience as an army officer during World War I, when, accompanied by an orderly, he traveled on horseback through northeastern Montenegro

[My orderly] was not obnoxious in any way. He didn't step on anybody's toes, or kiss any girls, or do anything else that might have caused trouble. His slow talk was like that of his Saxon ancestors. He came from Transylvania, the southeastern section of of Hungary near the mountainous Rumanian border. His home village was so underdeveloped that he had never seen a stairway. When he first beheld stairs, later on in a "hinterland" hotel, he climbed them on his hands and feet; he only knew how to use a ladder.

Danielle Schweitzer © 2014

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Gaming Infographic | Kramer Dixon

Gaming infographic © Kramer Dixon 2014
Above Gaming infographic by University of Northern Iowa graphic design student Kramer Dixon (2014).

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Philip Hone (American diarist and Mayor of New York), talking about US senator and orator Daniel Webster, on March 29, 1845, in The Diary of Philip Hone—

Old men are apt to be careless and slovenly in their dress…Black is safest, it is peculiarly the garb of a gentleman, and never goes out of fashion. But in this matter of dress one of our great men (than whom there is non greater), Mr. Webster, has a strange fancy. He is not slovenly, but on the contrary tawdry, fond of a variety of colors. I do not remember ever to have seen him in the only dress in which he should appear—the respectable and dignified suit of black. I was much amused a day or two since by meeting him in Wall Street, at high noon, in a bright blue satin vest, sprigged with gold flowers, a costume [as] incongruous for Daniel Webster as ostrich feathers for a sister of charity.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Infographic | Brandi Weis

Infographic © by Brandi Weis (2014)
Above Country Music Association infographic designed by University of Northern Iowa graphic design student Brandi Weis (2014).

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Robert Craft, An Improbable Life (Vanderbilt University Press, 2002), p. 184—

Dorothy [Christopher Isherwood's maid] had never heard of [Russian-born composer Igor] Stravinsky. She thought she recognized Igor as a Jewish comic on the Molly Goldberg show.

Igor Stravinsky autograph




Ibid, p. 147—

In 1953, he [Stravinsky] broke off his connection with Hollywood's two Russian [Orthodox] churches, for the reason that the priest-confessor had asked him for an autograph.

Image Font | Andy Snitker

Image Font © Andy Snitkner (2014)
Above Image font designed by University of Northern Iowa graphic design student Andy Snitker (2014).

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Theodore Roethke [American poet, recalling a manic episode] , quoted in Allan Seager, The Glass House: The Life of Theodore Roethke (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1991), p. 101—

For no reason I started to feel very good. Suddenly I knew how to enter into the life of everything around me. I knew how it felt to be a tree, a blade of grass, even a rabbit. I didn’t sleep much. I just walked around with this wonderful feeling. One day I was passing a diner and all of a sudden I knew what if felt like to be a lion. I went into the diner and said to the counter-man, "Bring me a steak. Don’t cook it. Just bring it." So he brought me this raw steak and I started eating it. The other customers made like they were revolted, watching me. And I began to see that maybe it was a little strange. So I went to the Dean [at the school where he was teaching] and said, "I feel too good. Get me down off this." So they put me into the tubs.

Titanic Infographic | Bradley Kennedy

Infographic © Bradley Kennedy (2014)
Above Infographic by University of Northern Iowa graphic design student Bradley Kennedy (2014).

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Henry Adams, in Victor Schreckengost and 20th-Century Design (Cleveland OH: Cleveland Museum of Art / University of Washington Press, 2001), p. 10.—

Another of [drawing instructor Frank N.] Wilcox’s exercises [at the Cleveland Institute of Art in the 1920s] was to go down to the Five and Ten on 105th Street and look at the objects in the window for 45 minutes. Back at the school, the students would make drawings of precisely what they had seen—the objects, the prices, and every other detail. After completing the drawings, they went back to the store window to make sure that everything was accurate.

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Robert Craft, An Improbable Life (Vanderbilt University Press, 2002), p. 33—

On Sunday afternoon, December 7, 1941, my father and I were watching a football game in Rockville Center, Long Island, when a loudspeaker announced the bombing of Pearl Harbor. The game went on as though the statement had not been understood, or taken for another Orson Welles radio hoax, but when twice repeated, the stunned, disbelieving crowd in the bleachers began to drift away. As we drove back to Manhattan, the automobile radio sputtered news bulletins, one of which said that the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston had been cordoned off by police because of concern that its great collection of Japanese Art might be endangered by reprisals.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Teaching Drawing in the Dark

It was Monday, December 8, 1941, the day after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and the day on which war on Japan was declared. That morning, a drawing instructor named Hoyt L. Sherman (1903-1981) arrived at his office at Ohio State University in Columbus to find his colleagues—still stunned by the news of the bombing—discussing how they, as teachers of subjects like art and design, could contribute to the country's defense. Sherman joined the discussion—and, within a matter of hours, he had come up with a curious plan. more >>>

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Miami Art Deco Postage | Gina Hamer

Gina Hamer © 2014
Above Block of synergistic postage stamps by University of Northern Iowa graphic design student Gina Hamer (2014), commemorating historic Art Deco architecture in Miami. Scroll down to see the single stamp from which the final block was made.

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Peter De Vries

Life is a zoo in a jungle.