A Memorial Service for Alvin Eisenman, who founded Yale's graduate program in graphic design, was held on Saturday October 26th at the Yale Art Gallery to a full auditorium of devoted fans.
Afterwards at the reception in the Yale School of Arts, Green Hall, an alumni-made film on Alvin was screened. Guests also participated in making another film that will feature testimonials by students, faculty and friends speaking about how he transformed their lives. The speakers were Sara Eisenman, daughter/designer/teacher; Jake Eisenman, class of 1972; Samantha, Alvin's granddaughter (who read a poem by a friend of Alvin's, Robert Frost); Gillette Griffin, class of BA 1951; John T. Hill, MFA 1960; Matthew Carter Senior Critic in Graphic Design; Lorraine Ferguson BA 1977 (who spoke and read a message from Armin Hofmann); and Chris Pullman, Senior Critic in Graphic Design MFA,1966. Together we celebrated his extraordinary life well lived.
Alvin: a visionary, designer, scholar and teacher also discovered many outliers and brought them together in the classroom to influence each other. He believed in his students and with great kindness helped to connect the dots with people he knew. As Chris Pullman said: "Before there was the Internet there was Alvin Eisenman”. His relationships were steadfast and ongoing, open to guiding people at all stages of their lives. He attracted and brought to Yale the most important designers of their time as teachers: Paul Rand, Armin and Dorothea Hofmann, Herbert Matter, Wolfgang Weingart, and Matthew Carter were among the luminaries.
His seminal influence on the field of Graphic Design is felt throughout modern design today. I am so proud to call him my mentor and friend.
For those classmates and friends of the program who couldn't be there and wish to make a contribution in Alvin's honor please send it to:
Alvin Eisenman Scholarship Fund?Att: Jane Phillips?Yale Office of Development?P.O. Box 2038?New Haven CT 06521-2038