Oral History Interview with Preston McClanahan, November 8, 2022

Oral History Interview with Preston McClanahan, November 8, 2022

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Description

Interview of Preston McClanahan, conducted by Holly Gaboriault for the RISD Oral History Project in the Dale Reading Room for Archives and Special Collections, Fleet Library, Rhode Island School of Design on November 8, 2022. McClanahan speaks of his earlier experiences with design before teaching at RISD, including working on an exhibition at the Museum of Natural History with Dr. Margaret Mead and Alan Lomax. McClanahan also recalls strikes at RISD under Lee Hall and his relationships with Paul Rand, Malcolm Grear, and Noel Martin.

Production and videography by Holly Gaboriault.

Photo credits: RISD Archives, Fleet Library, Rhode Island School of Design; Katherine Small Gallery, Somerville, MA; American Museum of Natural History, New York, NY; Science Photo Library, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

Biographical/Historical Note

Preston McClanahan was an illustrator, graphic designer, and professor emeritus at the Rhode Island School of Design, where he initiated and developed a course on Visual Syntax in 1975. McClanahan attended the Art Academy of Cincinnati from 1953-1957 and became an understudy to Noel Martin, designer, typographer and fine artist to the Cincinnati Art Museum from 1955 to 1959. McClanahan is interviewed by Holly Gaboriault, a lecturer at RISD in the Department of Theory and History of Art and Design. She received both a BFA in Illustration and an MA in Global Arts and Cultures from RISD and has worked on various film projects, including the 2020–22 RISD Research Perspectives media series expanding interdisciplinary dialogues among art and design researchers. The interview takes place on November 8, 2022.

Oral History Interview with Preston McClanahan, November 8, 2022

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Date of Interview

11/08/22

Interviewer

Holly Gaboriault

Interviewee

Preston McClanahan

Department

Graphic Design

Run Time

21 min.

Original Format(s)

Digital

Keywords

Malcolm Grear, Noel Martin, Charles Eames, American Museum of Natural History, Margaret Mead, Alan Lomax, Plexiglass, New York City, Lee Hall, Paul Rand, Foundation Studies, Graphic Design

Disciplines

Graphic Design