RIT Team Curates Design Exhibit for Fashion Giant ‘Harper’s Bazaar’
Vignelli Distinguished Professor Roger Remington coordinates Alexey Brodovitch exhibit
Feb. 13, 2012
by Kevin Fuller
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Harper’s Bazaar fashion magazine called upon Rochester Institute of Technology design professor and scholar Roger Remington to curate an international exhibition about legendary magazine art director Alexey Brodovitch.
RIT has an extensive Brodovitch archive and Remington utilized the archival resources for the creation of the exhibit. Remington led an interdisciplinary team of RIT faculty, staff and students to design “Brodovitch: From Diaghilev to Harper’s Bazaar.”
“Brodovitch was such a giant in the world of magazine design that interest in his life and work returns regularly through articles, books and particularly through exhibitions in Europe and the United States,” says Remington, the Vignelli Distinguished Professor of Design.
“In my graphic design history courses, Brodovitch is always a subject of great interest for the students, and for me pedagogically this makes it even more important that we have his collection here at RIT.”
The exhibit consists of 23 photographs, including portraits of Brodovitch taken by Richard Avedon and Arnold Newman, as well as numerous Harper’s Bazaar covers and inside pages highlighting Brodovitch’s work. The exhibit is currently traveling through Russia after premiering in Moscow. The exhibit celebrates the work of Brodovitch at Harper’s Bazaar.
Remington coordinated the curation with a team of faculty from the Vignelli Center for Design Studies and the Cary Library and Cary Graphic Design Archive at RIT.
Brodovitch (1898-1971) was a pioneering art director, whose 25-year tenure at Harper's Bazaar makes him a key figure in editorial design history. His career began in Russia, matured in Paris and then set the standard for innovative magazine art direction in New York for 25 years between 1934 and 1959. In addition to his pioneering magazine accomplishments, Brodovitch was an influential teacher at Design Laboratory in New York and influenced a generation of photographers and advertising art directors, including Magnum photographer and RIT alumnus Bruce Davidson.
The Alexey Brodovitch Collection at RIT is one of the most extensive collections consisting of personal and career artifacts of Brodovitch. In addition, the Cary Collection’s Graphic Design Archive at the Wallace Center preserves the works of 36 other major designers. It is a unique historical resource for students, faculty and researchers. These collections provide RIT students with the opportunity to study graphic design history by having original source materials available.
“This extraordinary exhibition provided RIT with an amazing opportunity to share its resources with an international community,” explains Steven Galbraith, curator of the Cary Collection. “Outreach is an important part of our mission. Knowing that photos from our Brodovitch Collection are being studied and enjoyed halfway around the world gives us great joy.”