Recent Opportunities

view-of-Edinburgh-from-castle

What's Your Sign? Retail Architecture and the History of Signage Symposium

The Legacies for Iowa Collections-Sharing Project at the University of Iowa Museum of Art presents a symposium considering the history of retail architecture signage.

For as long as goods have been bought and sold, shopkeepers and traders have visually communicated their wares through signs. This breakfast symposium explores the evolution of signage from the shutter paintings of ancient Pompeii to the wooden trade signs hanging along Medieval English streets to the neon of twentieth-century American roadside signs. How have symbols of selling shifted over the centuries? How do retail signs reflect or reject broader visual cultures? What technological shifts have precipitated the most dramatic design departures? Papers may examine the iconography, typography, and materiality of retail signs as well as the cultural, financial, and geo-political forces that shaped storefront signs in the past. Papers may also contend with the future of retail sinage in an increasingly digital and global economy. This public event will be livestreamed and occurs in conjunction with the City of Iowa City Downtown District’s CoSign project, which partners local artists and craftspeople with small business to create exciting and distinctive new signs.


Keynote Address:
September 8, 2017
7:00 pm–9:00 pm
University of Iowa Art Building West
Art Bldg West, 141 N Riverside Dr, Iowa City, IA 52246

James Wines, founder of New York City-based architecture and environmental arts studio SITE, will deliver the keynote address for the What’s Your Sign? Symposium. A professor of advanced design studies at Pennsylvania State College of Arts and Architecture as well as a practicing architect, Wines' work focuses on aesthetic, sociological, and environmental concerns in the building arts. Author the seminal text Green Architecture, Wines is the winner of twenty-five art and architecture awards including the 2013 National Design Award for Lifetime Achievement. His projects for SITE have been honored by retrospective exhibitions in the USA, Europe, and Japan, while his drawings can be found in the collections of more than thirty-five museums worldwide.
Driehaus_SH_Horizontal_RGB_275_100
SAH thanks The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Fund at The Chicago Community Foundation for its operating support.
Society of Architectural Historians
1365 N. Astor Street
Chicago, Illinois 60610
312.573.1365
Copyright - (c) 2012