School of art

School Notes: School of Art
January/February 2014

Marta Kuzma |

Honoring a graphic design pioneer

More than 300 faculty, administrators, former students, and design luminaries gathered on October 26 at the Yale University Art Gallery to remember and honor the life of Alvin Eisenman, who died September 3 at the age of 92. Eisenman taught at Yale for more than 40 years and established the school’s graphic design program—the first of its kind at a major US university. His long, distinguished career in typography and design began shortly after his graduation from Dartmouth College and included designing field manuals for the Army Signal Corps during World War II. As a book designer and design consultant for major presses and companies throughout the world, he was the recipient of numerous major awards. And as director of Yale’s graduate studies in graphic design, he was instrumental in bringing computers to the program well before they were widely available for use in graphic design; many prototypes by Apple, including Steve Jobs’s offshoot NeXT, were brought to the school for experimentation during his tenure at Yale.

After the service, a reception at the School of Art featured an exhibition of Eisenman’s design work. Attendees had the opportunity to record their remembrances of Eisenman, which were videotaped by Mark Zurolo ’01MFA and Randall Hoyt ’01MFA for an oral history collection.

Art on the menu

For nearly 30 years the St. Thomas More Center on Park Street has offered hot meals in a warm environment to New Haven’s homeless. But this past fall, students from the Yale School of Art began setting up tables outside the center with pads, pencils, and pastel crayons, offering guests the opportunity to make their own art while they wait for the center to open. Some of the guests created their own works, while others preferred to sit for art students who drew their likenesses. What has resulted is the forging of relationships between students and clients of the center, and even between clients themselves. Associate dean Sam Messer initiated the project, which he hopes to continue throughout the school year, culminating in an exhibition of the works in honor of the center’s 30th anniversary.  

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