Columbus College of Art & Design

Posters & Invitation Cards from Art & Design Schools

On view in the galleries, Feb. 1 – March 25, 2018

Micro-histories of art and design schools through their archive of exhibition posters, postcards, and promotional printed matter.

Portikus, Städelschule (Frankfurt, Germany), founded by Kasper König in 1988, with its early poster designs featuring the architectural motif of the surviving portico of the 1825 public library that was destroyed during World War II. For more info about Portikus, please visit their website.

Attesting to the self-criticality of the institution, also on view is an excerpt of a questionnaire from the book Portikus: 1987 – 1997, published by Portikus, and edited by Brigitte Kölle, former curator of Portikus (1994–98).
1. How would you describe Portikus to someone who knew nothing about it?
2. What do you not like about Portikus?

Konstantin Adamopoulos
(Freelance) Curator, Frankfurt am Main
1. The place in Frankfurt where you come into closest contact with art. Sometimes resistant, unconventional.
2. Social disruption? (Ammann’s preserve?) Yes – precisely?! Not enough events, i.e. let’s have more film evenings, music, meetings, topics, contact.

Jean-Christophe Ammann
Director, Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt am Main
1. “Shoe box” (K. König).
2. The dirty panes of glass in the skylight.

Sandra Danicke
Journalist, Frankfurt am Main
1. Shoe box with pillars.
2. The dirty window in the roof.

Anne Erfle
Art Critic, Munich
1. Art ‘temple’ showing controversial, sometimes somewhat off-beat works.
2. That it’s in Frankfurt.

Barbara Henke
Journalist, Frankfurt
1. Arriving at night from Sachsenhausen: the hold crown in the jaw of the north bank of the Main.
2. Should there be?

Karl Kels
1. As a place where it is possible to get to relate to art in a relatively intense manner.
2. Sometimes locked a little too closely into the art market. Not prepared enough to take risks when it comes to unknown artists.


Villa Arson (Nice, France), posters, holiday card and softcover of the institution that was instrumental in bringing American artists to France, from 1989 to 2007. Its logo is by Swiss designer Ruedi Baur. Materials selected by Julien Bouillon, who had held various roles for the past 30 years, as student, technician, and currently professor in the digital department. Reflections in the form of wall text by Julien BouillonSergio Verastegui and Julie Béna. For more info about Villa Arson, please visit their website.


ÉCAL – École cantonale d’art de Lausanne (Lausanne, Switzerland) moved into its current location designed by architect Bernard Tschumi in 2007. It houses an printing facility, whose in-house printer Benjamin Plantier’s personal stack of postcards for the school’s lecture series and exhibition programming of its ELAC gallery are on view. Reflections on Benjamin Plantier by ÉCAL professor Stéphane Kropf, installed alongside Plantier’s own business card that he had printed. For more info about ÉCAL, please visit their website.


Cranbrook Academy of Art (Bloomfield Hills, Michigan) is represented by its recruitment posters for their various departments designed by Katherine McCoy (and Michael McCoy) during 1980s and 1990s. For more info about Cranbrook Academy of Art, please visit their website.

Katherine McCoy­
The Graduate Program in Design, 1989
Cranbrook Academy of Art, Artist-in-Residence and Co-Chairman, Department of Design, 1971-1995
Printer: Signet Printing, Detroit, Michigan
Offset lithograph poster (two-sided), perforated with postcards on the reverse

Perforated with postcards on the reverse, this recruitment poster was designed by Cranbrook Academy of Art’s co-head of the design department, Katherine McCoy. McCoy pairs oppositional words across a center line, which serves as an anchor for a zig-zag effect created as more words and images fan out to the edges of the page. The composition of image and text is a play on deconstructivist ideas—you can read the text as an image and the images as text. The photomontage reinforces the bifurcation of the page, with the left side featuring designs from the 2D design department in pink, and the right featuring designs from the 3D design department in blue. This poster is a marked departure from McCoy’s earlier work at Cranbrook, and remains an icon of postmodern graphic design.
— Emily Zilber, 2007–2009 Jeanne and Ralph Graham Collections Fellow