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Poster House: College Night

"College Night was designed to provide resources to students who are interested in pursuing careers in art, design, and museums, with an emphasis on breaking down the pathways and barriers that can intimidate young professionals when planning for their futures. This series, which was developed by college students who worked for Poster House, provides professional development opportunities such as a lecture series of museum professionals across departments and throughout the world of design, as well as creative workshops, resumé reviews, and direct mentorship with our museum staffers. We hope to continue the model of this series being designed by college students, for college students. 


In the future, we hope to expand to incorporate high schoolers and those early stages of thinking about a major or direction for your dreams. We want to ensure that Poster House is a place that students of all ages can learn, explore, and grow as designers, design lovers, design historians, design educators, and just curious individuals.”

- Sierra Van Ryck deGroot, Assistant Director of Education


Students saw behind the scenes and how an exhibition is brought to fruition.  John Lynch creates specialized shelves and walls to make the exhibition unique and best showcase the work.  Students also learned how air quality and humidity effects archiving works on paper.  Covid has impacted the air temperature and presented a challenge to balance an optimal archival humidity and one that also slows down the Covid molecules.  


Students were walked through two exhibitions currently on display.  “Julius Klinger: Posters for  Modern Age” and “Freak Power”.  


Klinger relocated to Berlin in 1897, where he worked extensively as a commercial graphic artist until 1915. Together with the printing house Hollerbaum und Schmidt, he developed a new fashion of functional poster design that soon gained him international reputation.  Julius Klinger is responsible for developing many of the principles of design still used today. As a writer and educator, he devoted himself to creating a universal model of design based upon principles of negative space, simplification of form and color, and the power of visual symbols. More importantly, Klinger sought to reconcile the applied arts with commerce and industry by reevaluating the role of the graphic artist in society.  Throughout the 1920’s and 30’s, Klinger’s reputation as a commercial artist began to grow as he took on major commissions for numerous financial institutions in Austria and Germany.  Klinger’s desire to simplify visual communication led to an increasing emphasis on the pictographic symbol over the written word. Referring to the ‘objective formal beauty’ of symbols on flags and signage, he stressed their power in the field of visual communication in their ability to transcend language and cultural associations, and convey a message much quicker than the written word. 


Freak Power tells the story of Hunter’s plan to become Sheriff, take control of Aspen, and transform it from a conservative mining town into a mecca for artists, rebels, and activists. Through original print material from the campaign, photographs, and posters, Freak Power chronicles a little-known period in Hunter S. Thompson’s life—a period when he wrote prolifically about politics, the environment, drugs, and American values. As the conservatives and freaks battled it out, the campaign became fraught with violence, accusations, and moments of absurdity that bordered on fiction.

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