The Graphics Office

SHELLEY’S GHOST: THE AFTER-LIFE OF A POET

EXHIBITION DESIGN | GRAPHIC DESIGN | IMAGE RESEARCH | ILLUSTRATION

Shelley’s Ghost (Spring 2012) brought together objects from the New York Public Library’s Pforzheimer Collection, one of the world’s premiere holdings of material related to Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, and the Bodleian Library at Oxford, England. We were asked to create something “theatrical.” Collaborating closely with exhibition designer Barbara Suhr, we worked on every aspect of the show, from drapery, furniture, and window installation, to entryway design and all printed materials. We partnered with talented writer and painter Anya Ulinich to create a collaged dramatis personae of Shelley and his circle.

The entrance treatment was a departure from the Library's typical digital mural. The figurative tree was laser-cut fabric on mesh. The show’s title was handpainted with silver leaf. Photograph by Herb Scher.

Photograph by Herb Scher.

This window installation incorporated an early 19th-century watercolor view of Lake Geneva which was back-lit and framed by period styled velvet drapery. On either side were large backdrops of Shelley’s funeral pyre and a Romantic landscape. Photograph by Herb Scher.

Text panels were made of layers of digital prints of foxed paper with hand-torn edges, applied to board wrapped in marbled paper.

Illustrations of Shelley and his circle were commissioned when it became clear that available imagery of the group varied tremendously in style and quality.

A watercolor silhouette created for Shelley’s first wife, a suicide by drowning; Lord Byron and his daughter Allegra

A commissioned hand-cut silhouette affixed with a 19th-century clip.