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Albert J. Gowan papers

Overview

Abstract

Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Purdue Seal Material, Purdue Centennial Material and Miscellaneous Item, 1890-2011

"Original Sources on Campus - Purdue Seal,"

"Purdue Seal Correspondence"

"Press clippings on Al Gowan at Purdue"

"Purdue Seal Report to University Resources Policy Committee"

List of Faculty in Creative Arts Department, Krannert School Logo, Cover Proposal for Krannert MS in Industrial Administration and Announcement for Bruce Rogers Centennial Conference

Biographies: a film by Al Gowan and Victor Papanek, Prototype Booklet for Krannter Materials

Dan Estes Graduate Thesis Project, Faculty Advisor; Al Gowan

Designcourse and Correspondence, Editor, Al Gowan

Design at Purdue - 56 Slides

Michael Horoho, "The Purdue Crest"

"Purdue Seal - Images, Negatives, Prints, Tests"

Oversize Materials - Purdue Centennial Material and Purdue Seal (five feathered griffin)

Packet of Information Compiled by Graphics Coordinator (Dan Estes) During Purdue's Centennial

Purdue Seal  - Five Feathered Griffin

Purdue Seal - Revised, Five Feathered Griffin



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Albert J. Gowan papers, 1890-2011 | Purdue University Libraries, Archives and Special Collections

By Mary A. Sego

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Collection Overview

Title: Albert J. Gowan papers, 1890-2011Add to your cart.

Predominant Dates:1968-1969

Primary Creator: Gowan, Al

Extent: 0.95 Cubic feet. More info below.

Date Acquired: 05/08/2010

Subjects: Purdue University, Purdue University--Faculty, Purdue University. Dept. of Agricultural Economics

Forms of Material: Clippings (Information artifacts), Correspondence, Ephemera, Magazines (periodicals), Negatives (photographic), Photographic prints, Reports, Seals (artifacts)

Languages: English

Abstract

The papers document Albert J. Gowan’s involvement in the design of the Purdue University seal, Purdue centennial material, Krannert logo and cover proposal for Krannert MS in Industrial Administration, along with miscellaneous items, such as press clippings related to the projects.

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The Albert J. Gowan papers (1890-2011; 0.95 cubic feet) document Albert J. Gowan’s involvement in the design of the Purdue University seal, Purdue centennial material and Krannert logo, along with miscellaneous items, such as press clippings related to the projects.  Information on the various designs of the Purdue seal proceeding Gowan’s 1968 design is also included among the papers.  The press material also provides key information on the Purdue seal, Purdue centennial graphic materials and the design of the Krannert School logo and cover proposal for Krannert MS in Industrial Administration.  The Purdue centennial material was the graduate thesis project of Dan Estes, and Gowan was his faculty advisor.  The papers are housed in one legal sized manuscript box, with the oversized material housed in a small flat box.

Biographical Note

Albert J. Gowan grew up in East St. Louis, Illinois, the son of a steel-worker family.  He studied at Southern Illinois University, 1953-1955, where he first gained an appreciation for the impact designers can have in contributing to the socio-economic change in people’s lives.

He went on to an advertising agency job in St. Louis for two years, then for two more years was an artist-designer with a church publishing house in Nashville, Tennessee, and in 1959 he returned to Southern Illinois University to study with R. Buckminster Fuller.  An opportunity became available for a job in Columbia, Missouri with a publishing firm, so he left Southern Illinois University and enrolled in the University of Missouri.  While working full-time jobs, he earned a B.A. degree in 1964.

Gowan began teaching at Indiana University in 1964 and for two years he practiced and preached the role of the visual designer as a social force.  He came to Purdue as an assistant professor in 1966 when the Department of Creative Arts expanded its design program to include the responsibility of designers in society, under the direction of Professor Victor Papanek.

Soon he was chairman of the visual design section, involved in teaching what is generally labeled commercial art in many schools to about 60 undergraduates and a dozen or so graduate students annually.

From 1957 to 1985, he won more than thirty medals and awards for posters, packaging, catalog design, logo design, and filmmaking in art director’s competitions in Nashville, Tennessee, St. Louis, Missouri, Indianapolis, Indiana, Chicago, Illinois, and Boston, Massachusetts.

He takes special pride in accomplishments of students, some of which have won distinction while still students.  One such student, Dan Estes, designed the official Purdue University centennial logo, several have won professional awards in competition with professionals, and some have stepped into directorships upon graduation.

Gowan has stated that designing the Purdue seal became just another way to demonstrate the validity of his ideas.  But he is quick to point out that it was a team effort – the same process needed to solve society’s problems.  It is this kind of cooperation he promotes among students, “I just try to help them find a sense of personal satisfaction in solving some pressing problems through their specialty.”  “We’ve all got to be concerned about the environment which can kill.  We’re never idle, “Something is always working – even if it’s only our stomachs growling.” 

Gowan left Purdue in 1970.  He is now Professor Emeritus of Design, Massachusetts College of Art and Design.

Subject/Index Terms

Purdue University
Purdue University--Faculty
Purdue University. Dept. of Agricultural Economics

Administrative Information

Repository: Purdue University Libraries, Archives and Special Collections

Alternate Extent Statement: 0.95 cubic feet, (1 mss box and 1 small flat box)

Access Restrictions: Collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions: Purdue University per deed of gift.

Acquisition Source: Albert Gowan

Acquisition Method: Donations received from Al Gowan, May 8, 2010, November 9, 2010 and May 13, 2011.  Additional donations were given on August 18, 2010 by Professor Robert W. Sovinski, Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, Purdue College of Agriculture.

Related Publications:

Report to university resources policy committee. Purdue seal grant, number 0001-56-352, PRF general fund-Gowan. April 14, 1967. March 1, 1968 located in Archives & Special Collections - Bruce Rogers Collection call# 808.861 P9725r

Purdue Crest: a visual history / by Michael Horoho located in Archives & Special Collections - Purdue History call # 929.82 H785p 1992

Processing Information: Whenever possible, original order of the materials has been retained.  All materials have been housed in polyester sleeves, acid-free folders, and acid-free boxes.  Some clippings containing images of people or color graphics, or front pages of newspapers, have been preserved for display purposes, with photocopies made available for research. Oversized material has been separated and grouped into an individual box for preservation purposes.

Other URL: http://collections.lib.purdue.edu/fa/pdf/gowan_a.pdf


Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Box:

[Box 1: Purdue Seal Material, Purdue Centennial Material and Miscellaneous Item, 1890-2011],
[Folder 1: "Original Sources on Campus - Purdue Seal," , 1890-1948],
[Folder 2: "Purdue Seal Correspondence", 1966-1969],
[Folder 3: "Press clippings on Al Gowan at Purdue", 1967-1970],
[Folder 4: "Purdue Seal Report to University Resources Policy Committee", April 15, 1968],
[Folder 5: List of Faculty in Creative Arts Department, Krannert School Logo, Cover Proposal for Krannert MS in Industrial Administration and Announcement for Bruce Rogers Centennial Conference, 1967-2011],
[Folder 6: Biographies: a film by Al Gowan and Victor Papanek, Prototype Booklet for Krannter Materials, 1968],
[Folder 7: Dan Estes Graduate Thesis Project, Faculty Advisor; Al Gowan, 1968],
[Folder 8: Designcourse and Correspondence, Editor, Al Gowan, 1969-1970],
[Folder 9: Design at Purdue - 56 Slides, 1965-1970],
[Folder 10: Michael Horoho, "The Purdue Crest", 1992],
[Folder 11: "Purdue Seal - Images, Negatives, Prints, Tests", 1890-1968],
[Box 2: Oversize Materials - Purdue Centennial Material and Purdue Seal (five feathered griffin), 1968-1969],
[Item 1: Packet of Information Compiled by Graphics Coordinator (Dan Estes) During Purdue's Centennial, 1968],
[Item 2: Purdue Seal  - Five Feathered Griffin , 1968],
[Item 3: Purdue Seal - Revised, Five Feathered Griffin, 1968],
[All]