The Masters Series: Tom Geismar
School of Visual Arts will honor graphic design legend Tom Geismar with the 26th annual Masters Series Award and Exhibition. “The Masters Series: Tom Geismar” will be the first retrospective of the designer’s work to feature groundbreaking logos, graphics and exhibition designs as well as personal works, books and student projects from his own collection. The exhibition will be on view from August 25 through October 18 at the SVA Chelsea Gallery, 601 West 26th Street, 15th floor, New York City. Admission is free and open to the public.
Tom Geismar is a founding partner of Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv, a pioneering graphic and exhibition design firm that today concentrates on developing graphic identity programs for companies and institutions around the world. During the past five decades he has designed more than 100 graphic identity programs. His logo designs for Mobil, Chase Manhattan Bank, National Geographic, PBS, Rockefeller Center, Univision, NYU, Xerox and dozens of others have become part of the American landscape. He has received all the major awards in the field, including one of the first Presidential Design Awards for helping to establish a national system of standardized transportation symbols.
Geismar has also played a leading role in many of the firm’s exhibition designs and world’s fair pavilions. His projects include such major tourist attractions as the United States pavilion at Expo ’70 in Japan, the Ellis Island Immigration Museum, the Statue of Liberty Museum, the Truman Presidential Library and the permanent installation of Thomas Jefferson’s Library at the Library of Congress.
Geismar concurrently attended the Rhode Island School of Design and Brown University. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Brown, he received a master’s degree in graphic design from Yale University, School of Art and Architecture.
In 1988, SVA founder Silas H. Rhodes instituted the College’s Masters Series, an award and exhibition honoring great visual communicators of our time. Although the achievements of many groundbreaking designers, illustrators, art directors and photographers are known to and lauded by their colleagues, their names often go unrecognized by the general public. The Masters Series brings greater exposure to those whose influence has been felt strongly and by many, yet without widespread recognition.
Masters Series laureates are Marshall Arisman, Saul Bass, R.O. Blechman, Ivan Chermayeff, Seymour Chwast, Paul Davis, Lou Dorfsman, Heinz Edelmann, Jules Feiffer, Shigeo Fukuda, Milton Glaser, April Greiman, Steven Heller, George Lois, Mary Ellen Mark, Ed McCabe, James McMullan, Duane Michals, Tony Palladino, Paula Scher, Edward Sorel, Deborah Sussman, George Tscherny, Paul Rand and Massimo Vignelli.