WMU News

Renowned Detroit area designer is visiting artist

Oct. 5, 1999

KALAMAZOO -- A renowned Detroit area architectural and textile designer will visit the Western Michigan University campus Tuesday and Wednesday, Oct. 12 and 13, as part of its Visiting Scholars and Artists Program.

Ruth Adler-Schnee, whose work reflects a blend of modernist and classical solutions, will deliver a free public talk on "What Modern Was..." at 5:15 p.m. Tuesday in the Oakland Recital Hall. Schnee will explore the factors that influenced her design work in the 1940s through the 1960s in the slide lecture that will include a variety of her designs and reflect the breadth of her work.

She also will deliver two campus talks Wednesday on "Design Around Us" at 10 a.m. and "From Design to Fabric" at 1:30 p.m. in Room 1008 of the Adrian Trimpe Building. The first talk will look at the relationship between design and common household items. The second will focus on textile design and production processes.

Adler-Schnee's work includes textile collections, interior planning and design of a wide variety of commercial and residential spaces, and teaching at several universities. Her design awards span five decades and include The Good Design Award from the Museum of Modern Art in 1958 and the American Institute of Architects International Color Award and the International Lighting Design Award, both in 1985.

Adler-Schnee, who currently runs her own design firm in Southfield, Mich., was first exposed to art, architecture and space design at an early age by family friend Paul Klee. She went on to study at the Rhode Island School of Design, Brown University and the Cranbrook Academy of Arts.

Adler-Schnee's visit to the University is being coordinated by WMU's interior and industrial design programs in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences and the Department of Construction Engineering, Materials Engineering and Industrial Design.

For more information, contact Patricia B. Viard, associate professor of family and consumer sciences, at 387-3708.

The Visiting Scholars and Artists Program was established in 1960 and has supported some 500 visits by scholars and artists representing more than 65 academic disciplines. The chairperson of the committee who oversees the program is Dr. James M. Hillenbrand, professor of speech pathology and audiology.

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, 616 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

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