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Martin Mendelsberg Students' Art Books

 Collection
Identifier: B354
The Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design (RMCAD) campus was originally the campus of the Jewish Consumptives’ Relief Society. Former RMCAD professor Martin Mendelsberg designed a graphic design course that challenged his students to consider the power of storytelling through words and images. The subject matter for the project was the thousands of patients records from the JCRS in the Beck Archives. The books are a selection of the student work that was created during the tenure of that course. Collection contains Visual Sequencing class books related to Martin Mendelsberg from 2008 through 2012.

Dates

  • between 2004-2013

Creator

Extent

5.5 Linear Feet (5 containers) : 5 print boxes

Scope and Contents

Collection contains Visual Sequencing class books related to Martin Mendelsberg from 2008 through 2012.

Biographical / Historical

In 2004, Martin Mendelsberg, a professor at the Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design (RMCAD), made his first trip to the Beck Archives at the University of Denver Library to research the cultural and historical roots of the Jewish Consumptives’ Relief Society (JCRS). The JCRS was established in 1904 in Lakewood, Colorado for the treatment of tuberculosis, then the leading cause of death in the United States. The original JCRS campus is now the Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design (RMCAD). As a Professor in the Communications Design Department at RMCAD, Mendelsberg was developing a new course for graphic designers that challenged students to consider the power of storytelling in words and pictures. Access to the Beck archives offered his students the chance to examine thousands of primary source photographs, documents, and artifacts first hand. In 2005, the first group of design students enrolled in Mendelsberg’s “Visual Sequencing” course carried out research in the Beck Archives, where they began the process of researching patient files for the purpose of developing compelling stories and histories that would eventually come to fruition in the form of photographic studies, typographic studies and illustrated books. This course project was continued on a yearly base through 2013 and resulted in dozens of beautiful, engaging students artists’ books based on the lives of a number of early JCRS TB patients. The experience of sorting through original documents was transforming, and as one student noted, “It’s exciting to hold these documents in your hands and carefully sort through the dust of history.”

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and Archives Repository

Contact:
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