Communication design students travel to Cooper Hewitt Museum

By Catherine Minnick

Photo by Catherine Minnick, The Keystone
Photo by Catherine Minnick, The Keystone

On Friday, Sept. 18, communication design students and their professors took a day trip to the Cooper Hewitt Museum for the “How Posters Work” exhibit. The trip was organized to study the techniques used on prominent and obscure posters.

Students from the graphic design, poster design and graduate classes were encouraged to go. Kate Clair, a professor who went on the trip, urged her graphic design students to attend, but understood that some could not go because of prior commitments. “I made it as mandatory as I dare,” she said.

A unique aspect about going to Cooper Hewitt was the innovative way to view galleries. The museum featured an interactive pen that can save pictures and information of any work in the collection. It worked by simply pressing the end of the pen to a “+” symbol on the artwork’s plaque until it vibrated.

“One time I went through and just added everything,” said communication design professor Ann Lemon on how she used the pen. Visitors received a customized URL when they first walked in and can look up the artworks they saved when they return home.

When the students finished up at the Cooper Hewitt, they meandered out and headed over to the Society of Illustrators for the exhibit, “A Purposeful Partnership: Art Directors and Illustrators.” This featured illustrations from advertisements to magazines.

“The downstairs was my favorite,” said Meredith Shriner, junior communication design major. “It was very realistic like the art style I use.”

Students gathered that morning in the B parking lot by the planetarium and boarded at 8:45 a.m. Departure was at 9 a.m. and it was a straight ride to New York City. On the way over, students talked about their plans for the day and discussed their projects with the attending professors—Elaine Cunfer, Kate Clair, Vicki Meloney, Ann Lemon and Holly Teinken. The KU attending students were free to plan their time as they wished after visiting the Cooper Hewitt and Society of Illustrators.

Cunfer planned the outing by collaborating with the Cooper Hewitt Museum, Society of Illustrators and of course Bieber Bus

Tourways. To thank her for orchestrating the trip, all of the students wrote a word of thanks in a postcard, which happened to feature a painting Cunfer deeply admired from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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