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Susan Sellers Named Head of Design at Metropolitan Museum

(New York, June 6, 2013)—Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, announced today the appointment of Susan Sellers as Head of Design. She will cultivate the role of design throughout the institution, overseeing the Museum’s Design Department, which is comprised of specialists in installation, graphic, and lighting design. Their work addresses the full scope of the Met’s design needs, including signage, printed materials, exhibitions, and gallery installations both in the Museum’s main building along Fifth Avenue and at The Cloisters museum and gardens, its branch museum for medieval art and architecture in northern Manhattan.

Ms. Sellers is founding partner and the current creative director of 2x4 in New York City, as well as Senior Critic in Graphic Design at Yale School of Art. She will join the Metropolitan Museum on June 24.

“Susan is highly respected in her field for her innovation and collaborative spirit,” said Mr. Campbell in making the announcement. “Her design work is both elegant and strategic, and I look forward to having her develop a design vision for the Met that speaks to the Museum’s diverse collections and audiences.”

In 1994, with Michael Rock and Georgie Stout, Susan Sellers founded 2x4, a global design consultancy focusing on brand strategy for cultural and commercial clients. 2x4 now employs 35 designers and has satellite studios in Beijing and Madrid. It has developed graphic identities for museums including PS1 and the Brooklyn Museum, exhibition design for Nike, and environmental design for OMA’s McCormick Tribune Building at IIT. Committed to synergy between commerce and culture, Ms. Sellers has cultivated the studio’s approach to brand identity for museums and public institutions including the Guggenheim, Longwood Gardens, and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. She has designed exhibitions for clients from Nike and Prada to the Guggenheim, the Storefront for Art and Architecture and the Addison Gallery of American Art. Her interest in urban identity is evidenced in her collaboration on competitions and master plans for Tate Modern, the Museum of Modern Art, and Lincoln Center, among other organizations. The studio’s work has been recognized widely, and has been published and exhibited extensively.

At Yale, Ms. Sellers is central to the design program’s thesis curriculum, admissions, roster of lectures, workshops and faculty appointments. In 2007 and 2010, she served as Acting Director of Studies in Graphic Design. Her teaching encompasses studio classes in typography and visual research to theory in material culture. She has lectured widely on subjects such as the state of critical practice in design and alternative forms of exhibition made possible through data visualization and screen-based technology. She has published in academic and design journals including Visible Language and Eye, and served as visiting critic at institutions including the Rhode Island School of Design, CalArts, and the Scuola Politecnica di Design, Milan. Recently she participated in the Mayors’ Institute for City Design, lecturing on urban branding.

She studied at Mount Holyoke College and holds a B.F.A. from the Rhode Island School of Design and an M.A. in American Studies from Yale University, where the subject of her thesis was the evolution of the graphic design profession from craft industry to culture industry.

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June 6, 2013

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