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"Eye For Design" on View at ACC

"Eye For Design" on View at ACC

Start date

Friday, November 11, 2016, 4:00am

End date

Tuesday, January 31, 2017, 11:00am

Part of the Museum of Arts and Design's "Eye for Design" exhibition is now on view at the American Craft Council office through the end of January.

"Eye for Design" at ACC

"Eye for Design" explores the unique graphic identity created by the Museum of Arts and Design in the 1960s and 1970s through its imaginatively designed exhibition catalogues and related ephemera. The examples gathered here — drawn primarily from MAD’s archive or that of the American Craft Council — were designed by many American and international graphic artists, including Emil Antonucci, John J. Reiss, and Linda Hinrichs.

Eye for Design poster

Photo: Courtesy of the Museum of Arts and Design

At a time when the field of graphic design was becoming increasingly corporate, these designers rejected the minimal abstraction of the brand logo in favor of hand-rendered illustration, playful use of typography, vibrant color, and inventive adaptation of the catalogue form. Instead of promoting an exhibition’s actual works, these techniques and treatments were used metaphorically, to communicate distinctive artistic sensibilities that privilege ideals of creativity, experimentation, and hand-making, as well as the value of experience over passive contemplation.
The design approaches you see here fuse art world influences — from Pop Art to Henri Matisse’s cut-outs to Fluxus-inspired multiples — with popular graphic design styles and technologies, including the visually associative posters of the counterculture and the rise of screen printing. Along the way, "Eye for Design" tells a story of MAD’s distinctive exhibition program in the 1960s and 1970s, which embraced an expansive definition of craft, including forms of creative practice and sensory experiences that remain unorthodox in the art world today.

"Eye for Design" at ACC

"Eye for Design" is organized by MAD’s Windgate research and collections curator Elissa Auther and assistant curator Samantha De Tillio.

For more on "Eye for Design," check out our interview with the curators. 

Note: The American Craft Council installation of "Eye for Design" includes a smaller, select subset of materials from the MAD exhibition.