Kurt Schwitters (and friends)
This exploration was initiated as a project to honor my friend and colleague at WGBH, Doug Scott, at a Festschrift [“a collection of writings by different authors presented as a tribute to a scholar”] celebrating him as a new AIGA Boston Fellow, in 2016.
How to honor him?? Doug is a devoted teacher and pioneering design historian who, as a personal side interest, has made beautiful collages for decades. An avid collector of printed ephemera (among many other things), he would now and then curate colorful exhibits of his tickets and labels, receipts and laundry numbers in the halls at work.
His interest in collage led me to think of Schwitters, whose work I had admired in various museums over the years, but whose artistic life-story I knew almost nothing about. When I dove in, the story was fascinating. And what I learned then reminded me of another friend we had in common, Dan Friedman, whose career remarkably mirrored the formal and philosophical underpinnings of Schwitters’s.
Here is the resulting short presentation that I gave at the Festschrift :