- Ed Fella Donation
- The Brauer Museum of Art at Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, Indiana recently received, as a donation from the artist, a complete set of 117 flyers created by the legendary and influential graphic designer Edward Fella (b. 1938). Fella, a respected educator teaching at the California Institute for the Arts since 1987, is well known as an artist and designer whose creations comment on typographical traditions, graphic techniques, and the postmodern breakdown of communication while engaging viewers with their considerable whimsy and complexity of composition. Fella’s donation to the Brauer, a museum of American art and international religious art, is truly noteworthy since no other institution has received such a complete donation of the artist’s wonderfully inventive flyers.
Fella’s flyers in this recent gift date mostly from the 1980s and 1990s and were created to celebrate and announce lectures, exhibitions, holiday occasions, and in particular happenings at Detroit’s Focus Gallery. Each flyer is double sided, and each flyer challenges viewer expectations with a wealth of mark-making approaches and lettering styles. At the same time the flyers convey information, they also confound efforts to obtain the content easily and paradoxically become individual works of graphic art, the content of which is greater in concept than the specific information contained therein.
Calarts graduate, former student of Fella’s, and Associate Professor of Art/Art Department Chair at Valparaiso University Robert Sirko corresponded with Fella to arrange the donation of the set of flyers. Sirko is a member of the Brauer Museum’s Collection Committee and a long time supporter of the museum. Sirko has plans to use the flyers to educate students on innovative and historically important developments in graphic design, and he is working with Brauer Museum Director/Curator Gregg Hertzlieb on a future exhibition and accompanying publication for the Fella flyer set. Specific plans for this project are still to be determined.
Hertzlieb wishes to spread news and awareness of this major donation so that scholars know of the presence of these flyers in a museum collection for future study and appreciation. For more information on the collection of Fella flyers at the Brauer Museum of Art or on the museum in general, please contact Gregg Hertzlieb at (219) 464-5761, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or through the museum’s website at www.valpo.edu/artmuseum.