Photos and Exhibition Design by Jennifer Wilkerson, Aurora Design
Mohawk has announced the opening of Paper is Part of the Picture: Strathmore Paper and the Evolution of American Graphic Design at The Opalka Gallery, located on the Sage College of Albany campus.
The exhibition tracks the evolution of American graphic design from the 1890’s to the 21st century through the collected body of promotional materials produced by a single company: Strathmore Paper. Now owned by Cohoes NY-based Mohawk Fine Papers, the Strathmore brand strategically used design as a means to drive business growth and consumer demand for over a century. This strategy was a bold innovation when they embraced it in 1895 and contributed to Strathmore’s iconic status in the commercial and fine art worlds throughout the 20th century. Among the designers work included in the exhibition are such luminaries as Will Bradley, T.M. Cleland, W.A. Dwiggins, Lester Beall, Milton Glaser and Seymour Chwast. Almost 200 pieces of paper ephemera are on display, many for the first time.
“Since we acquired the Strathmore brand in 2005, we have served as the steward of this legendary name and are proud to celebrate the 125th anniversary of Strathmore’s founding with this important exhibition,” said Mohawk CEO, Tom O’Connor Jr. “We are thrilled to host the first comprehensive exhibition of the Strathmore Archive in conjunction with Mohawk Fine Paper,” adds Opalka Gallery Director, Judie Gilmore. “Talk about the creative economy, this show tells a story about a local industry that has understood for over a century how to showcase their products using innovative art and design.” The show’s curator Paul Shaw remarked, “This show reminds us that the history of graphic design includes an immense amount of printed ephemera and that even in the digital era, much design remains physical and tactile.”
The exhibition will accompany a series of programs the gallery will host throughout the fall including a curator’s talk with Paul Shaw, a tour with Chris Harrold, Vice President and Creative Director at Mohawk, and “Coffee with Creatives,” in partnership with AIGA Upstate. The exhibition can be viewed during the gallery’s open hours (TUE through FRI, 10am-7pm; SAT 12-4pm) and continues through December 15, 2017.