Brad J. Aldridge — Designer and Creative Director in San Francisco

Arnold Newman: Masterclass Exhibition Design

Role:  Exhibition Designer and Art Director

Arnold Newman (1918-2006) was a notable American photographer of artists, celebrities, and politicians.  His portraiture, often heavy on abstract shapes and large blocks of blackness, also included the environments of his sitters: he's given the credit as the father of "environmental photography."

For the Contemporary Jewish Museum's presentation of this traveling exhibition, the design of the exhibit was deeply influenced by the high contrast and unique crops of Newman's images: the gallery was considered as a magazine spread holding Newman's portraits--like HolidayLife, or Harper's Bazaar.  

Each of the ten sections feature a quote by Newman, set to the side of the text as a designer's aside.  Set in the kind of grid pull-quote you would see in the very magazine's these images would grace. 

The exhibit foyer is dedicated to a massive 37-foot long wall graphic detailing the more than 150 individuals photographed in the exhibit.  As a biographical document, the entry towers over viewers, providing a typographical bookend for the famous, or infamous, individuals Newman captured over his long career.