It was Today, Only Yesterday…

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Client: High School of Art and Design / Dept. of Education

Location: New York, NY, United States

Completion date: 2012

Artwork budget: $200,000

Project Team

Artist

Art Spiegelman

Franz Mayer of Munich, Inc.

Art Consultant

Erica Behrens, Director, NY Office

Franz Mayer of Munich, Inc.

Public Art Agent

Percent for Art / NYC Dept. of Cultural Affairs

Other

School Construction Authority

Industry Resource

Michael C. Mayer, Managing Director

Franz Mayer of Munich, Inc.

Overview

It Was Today, Only Yesterday… is a 17-panel hand-painted stained glass installation created by cartoonist and High School of Art and Design alumnus, Art Spiegelman. Bursting with color, the mural portrays three scenes of the artist at work in environments representing the past, present, and future.

Goals

The artist created individually stylized panels depicting different forms of artistic expression – graphic design, cartooning, illustration, fashion, photography, film, drawing, painting, architecture, and new media – all subjects taught at the school. Spiegelman also dedicated an entire panel to caricatures of illustrious school alumni to acknowledge the school’s rich history.

Process

The scale and precise location of my window kept shifting as the building was being constructed. With updates and counsel from the SOM architect, my initial designs were first contracting then expanding to take full advantage of the space. Franz Mayer glass found a way to make an impressive float-glass painted window with an etched black holding line—while introducing me to the possibilities of opaque and transparent pigments—that allowed me to echo the stained glass roots of the project as I first presented it. This helped me to adapt and expand from my initial concept to the complex two-sided piece that resulted. Working at their Munich workshop with their master craftsmen, who were uncanny in translating my original illustrator computer files and color plans, allowed for a final piece even richer than what I’d originally envisioned.

Additional Information

"As students and faculty walk through the high school corridor that overlooks the cafeteria, they can see and be seen, moving back and forth between yesterday and tomorrow in a work about Work."