Over the past year, eleven designers convened in the History Design Studio Workshop to develop, interpret, and apply new forms of historical narration to stories and research that exceed written language. In “Footprints Across Time,” we honor this commitment to rigorous historical approaches by way of experimental and iterative design processes. The projects span a variety of media and subject matter that reflect the diverse perspectives, backgrounds, and talents of our cohort. Many offerings are samples of works that exist far beyond the walls of this gallery.
Fleeta Drumgo, John Clutchette and George Jackson became known as the Soledad Brothers after they were accused of murdering the guard John Mills in the California State Prison of that name in early 1970. Their mothers, Mrs. Inez Williams, Mrs. Doris Maxwell, and Mrs. Georgia Jackson, respectively, acted quickly by protesting the illegal railroading and physically punitive measures, notably chaining, taken against their sons who were targeted as militant Black prisoners responding to the racism of the U.S. penal system.
Portraits of those whose stories made the exhibition possible. The voices behind each of the projects in the gallery are as varied as they are distinct, yet each has come to the History Design Studio with what has emerged as a shared mission: to communicate to wider publics stories that exceed the written form. For each of these designers, multimedia forms were the key to honing their message, expanding their narrative approaches, and reaching wider audiences. We are humbled to have witnessed their growth throughout the year and celebrate their collective debut in the Neil L. and Angelica Zander Rudenstine Gallery.
As archaeologists across the world repeatedly affirm, human groups leave enduring traces of their labor and behavior in the sands and sediments of time. Some of these traces are monumental in scale. Like the Great Wall of China or the Egyptian Pyramids they are "written in stone." In fact, many of these structures are now visible from satellites in space. By contrast, other traces are smaller than the human eye can see and can only be viewed through a microscopic examination of plant pollen and biological residues in topsoil and sediments.