Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Robots: Opens May 16 at EMP|SFM

Robots: A Designer's Collection of Miniature Mechanical Marvels opens May 16 at EMP|SFM

Exhibition celebrates humankind’s fascination with robots

SEATTLE— Experience Music Project|Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame (EMP|SFM) is proud to announce a new exhibition, Robots: A Designer's Collection of Miniature Mechanical Marvels. The exhibition celebrates society’s long fascination with humankind's technological version of itself. The exhibition is drawn from a one-of-a-kind assemblage of toy robots, which noted graphic designer Tom Geismar has been collecting for decades. Robots: A Designer's Collection of Miniature Mechanical Marvels opens on Friday, May 16, 2008 and closes on Sunday, October 26, 2008.

The collection is inspired by Geismar’s interest in antique tin and wooden toys and mid-20th century Japanese film and anime characters. These intricately detailed and beautifully designed miniatures are set against EMP|SFM's backdrop of life-sized robots, androids and cyborgs from the world of science-fiction film and television.

Geismar began collecting robots while designing the U.S. Pavilion at the 1970 World’s Fair in Japan. Since that time, he has amassed dozens of robots through visiting specialty shops around the world. The exhibition covers early toy robot figures from the Forbidden Planet-era up through various Voltron and Transformers-type robots. Robots: A Designer's Collection of Miniature Mechanical Marvels was designed by Pentagram Design.

“I’m proud to be able to show my collection, which exhibits the magic of toy robots,” said Tom Geismar. The imaginative creativity of these small sculptural wonders first appealed to me as a designer and eventually helped me to make cross-cultural connections.”

Robots: A Designer's Collection of Miniature Mechanical Marvels will feature more than 125 robots from his collection, including two wooden robots specially made for Geismar by toymaker and children’s book author, David Kirk. Kirk is best known today for the Miss Spider series and Nova the Robot: Nova’s Ark.

“While putting this show together, we had an epiphany about the relationship between robots and children,” said Margie Maynard, director of education at EMP|SFM. “The naivetĂ© and candidness of robots (in science fiction) make them the perfect companions or guardians for children and likewise children are the logical choice to be the robots' pilots or operators.”

Tom Geismar Biography: Tom Geismar is a founding principal of Chermayeff & Geismar, and widely considered a pioneer of American graphic design. During the past four decades he has designed more than a hundred corporate identity programs. His logo designs and graphics programs for Mobil, Chase Bank, PBS, Univision, Rockefeller Center, Best Products, Screen Gems, Gemini Consulting have received worldwide acclaim. Tom has also been responsible for many of the firm’s exhibition designs and world’s fair pavilions. Burlington Industries’ “The Mill” was a major NYC tourist attraction for 10 years as today are the Ellis Island Immigration Museum, the Statue of Liberty Museum, the Truman Presidential Library, and a series of special exhibits at the Library of Congress. He has received all the major awards in the field, including one of the first Presidential Design Awards for helping to establish a national system of standardized transportation symbols.

He is the co-author of “Spiritually Moving,” a major work on American Folk sculpture, “TM: trademarks designed by Chermayeff & Geismar” and “designing:” a book that describes his firm’s approach to design. Geismar concurrently attended the Rhode Island School of Design and Brown University. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Brown, he received a master’s degree in graphic design from Yale University, School of Art and Architecture.

Museum Hours: EMP|SFM is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. from September 4, 2007 through May 22, 2008. EMP|SFM will be open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. from May 23, 2008 through September 1, 2008.

Museum Admission:
General adult admission to both Experience Music Project and Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame (EMP|SFM) is $15. Admission for seniors, youth, military and students (w/ID) is $12, and admission for children under 5 is free. One ticket gives access to both museums.

Web site:
Address: 325 5th Avenue North, Seattle, WA 98109
Box office: 206-770-2702, 1-877-EMP-SFM1

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