Sheila Levrant de Bretteville, Graphic designer and public artist
Ms. de Bretteville received a B.A. in art history from Barnard College in 1962, an M.F.A. from Yale University in 1964, and honorary degrees from the Maryland Institute College of Art, California College of the Arts, Moore College of Art, and Otis College of Art and Design. The AIGA designated her a Design Legend in 2006. Before opening the Sheila Studio in 1970 she worked as a designer for Chanticleer Press, Yale University Press, and Olivetti Pubblicità in Milan. In 1971 at the California Institute of the Arts, she created the first women’s design program and, in 1973, founded the Woman’s Building and its Women’s Graphic Center in Los Angeles. In 1981 she initiated and chaired the Department of Communication Design at Otis/Parsons. Her design work in books, magazines, and newspapers includes The Motown Album, the redesign of the Los Angeles Times, and special issues of the Aspen Times, Everywoman, American Cinematographer, and Arts in Society. Her work has been exhibited in Graphic Design in America: A Visual Language History at the Walker Art Center; in Now Dig This! Art and Black Los Angeles 1960–1980 at the Hammer Museum and P.S. 1; and in WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Her posters and fine press editions are in the special collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, Centre Pompidou in Paris, and numerous university and public libraries. Her site-specific public artwork includes Biddy Mason: Time and Place andOmoide no Shotokyo in Los Angeles; Search: Literature in Flushing, New York; At the start…, At long last… in New York City’s Inwood A train station; Path of Stars and HILLHOUSEin New Haven; and Step(pe) in Yekaterinburg, Russia. Ms. de Bretteville joined the Yale School of Art faculty as its first tenured woman in 1990, when she was appointed professor and director of graduate studies in graphic design. In 2010 she was named the Caroline M. Street Professor of Graphic Design.
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