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Milton Glaser: Design, Influence and Process

November 15, 2000–January 21, 2001

Modern graphic icons such as the I Love NY logo—a tourism-campaign symbol created for the New York State Department of Commerce that became “the most frequently imitated logo design in human history“—are showcased as the museum and Collab salute designer Milton Glaser. Taking inspiration from the history of art and graphic design, Glaser created a new style of graphic communication that combines visual and intellectual concepts. This focused retrospective exhibition illustrates the variety and invention of his design process. Glaser has received the year 2000 Design Excellence Award from Collab, a group of design professionals who support the museum’s contemporary design collections.

Main Building

About the Artist

Born in 1929 in New York City, Mr. Glaser studied at The Cooper Union Art School and later, as a Fulbright Scholar, attended the Academy of Fine Arts, Bologna, Italy. Throughout a celebrated career, he has designed and illustrated more than 300 posters for clients in the fields of publishing, music, theater, film, and institutional and civic enterprise, in addition to those for commercial products and services. Mr. Glaser was a catalyst and guiding force for the establishment of the enormously influential Pushpin Studios in 1954, and New York Magazine in 1968. Since its founding in 1974, Milton Glaser, Inc., has completed projects in a wide range of design disciplines, including graphic, environmental, and interior design. Mr. Glaser joined with Walter Bernard in 1983 to form WBMG, a publication-design firm that has overseen the redesign of many notable magazines and newspapers, including The Washington Post, U.S. News & World Report, The Village Voice, Money, and The Nation.

Among Mr. Glaser’s commissions have been the restaurants, observation deck, and permanent exhibition for the World Trade Center, in 1975, and the Rainbow Room complexes for the Rockefeller Center, in 1987. Also in 1987, Mr. Glaser designed the World Health Organization’s International AIDS symbol and poster and, in 1993, he created the logo for Tony Kushner’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Angels in America. In the Philadelphia area, Mr. Glaser’s projects have included Sesame Place, in 1981–1983, and Franklin Mills Mall, in 1986–1989.

Mr. Glaser has been the subject of solo exhibitions at the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; the Lincoln Center Gallery, New York; and the Houghton Gallery at The Cooper Union, New York. His work is included in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Israel Museum, Jerusalem; the National Archive, Smithsonian Institute, Washington, D.C.; and the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum, New York. He is a recipient of The Society of Illustrator’s Gold Medal, the St. Gauden’s Medal from The Cooper Union, and the Prix Savignac for the World's Most Memorable Poster of 1996, and is a member of The Art Director’s Club Hall of Fame.


Kathryn B. Hiesinger, Curator of European Decorative Arts after 1700

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