Lyman Allyn Art Museum

Norman Ives: Constructions & Reconstructions

January 29 – April 24, 2022

An innovative artist and designer, Norman Ives (American, 1923-1978) pioneered the use of type and letterforms as primary subjects for his designs. A student of Josef Albers, Ives taught at the Yale University School of Art from 1952 until his death in 1978, finding success in a multi-faceted career as an artist, designer, publisher, and teacher.

This large-scale exhibition explores the range and evolution of Ives’s work, with examples of his paintings, collages, prints, bas-reliefs, and murals. Whether designing corporate symbols or painting murals, Ives was guided by his love of letterforms in their whole or in fragments. His visual skill and passion guided everything he did. Ives revolutionized the field of graphic design, and he and his Yale colleagues became a driving force in making graphic design a more rigorous profession.

Illustrating the wide range of Norman Ives’s brilliant artistic output, Norman Ives: Constructions & Reconstructions traces the artist’s enduring contributions to art and graphic design.

Norman Ives, Centaur, 1973, screen print © Norman S. Ives Foundation.
Norman Ives, Number 4, 1968, screen print © Norman S. Ives Foundation
Norman Ives, Sheilagh Coulter, 1952, woodcut on mulberry paper © Norman S. Ives Foundation.

On January 28, 2022, the Lyman Allyn Art Museum hosted a Zoom conference call with John Hill, Author of Norman Ives: Constructions & Reconstructions and President of the Norman Ives Foundation. The online event served as a launch event for the exhibition opening and included art museum staff who participated in a discussion about Norman Ives. The well-attended webinar provided a first peek at the exhibition along with an overview from John Hill. He shared his personal insights and stories about working with Norman Ives, the artist, graphic designer, teacher, and publisher. The commentary was followed up by Q&A.

March 16, 2022 — Lyman Allyn Exhibition Virtual Lecture