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Page 9 text:
Since the Annual you are about to look through is the first " yearbook " the Philadelphia College of Art has ever had, its mere existence would seem to make it a landmark. It is unique, though, for another reason: in its individual, even idiosyncratic way, it sums up the excitement, the vitality, and the temper- ament of our school. Because it represents a college whose curriculum is oriented toward visual com- munication, the Annual is primarily a visual experience. Besides this introduction, therefore, you will find no other text. This is, moreover, a personal statement. The initial conception and all the labor was that of one man, a student who - as far as I know - was given a free hand to do whatever he wanted. Possibly our artistic freedom here at The Philadelphia College of Art has made us blase, but the fact that a student would be entrusted with such a responsibility bespeaks an unusually far-sighted and adventurous faculty and administration. Ordinarily, yearbooks are dull affairs: the products of committees and sub-committees, of staffs and advisors and experts, of scores of gifted men and women who - forced to work as a team - usually manage to lose whatever made them individually valuable and are virtually compelled to tur n out a dreary replica of every yearbook of every graduating class of every college. You have seen countless of them: photos of disembodied faces nailed down next to personal data (nicknames, ambitions, and club affiliations) whose very formality proves the impersonality their admin- istrators would hasten to deny; group pictures of a room full of stiffs that would warm the heart of any social realist or mortician; the cafeteria chef and his staff in their hospital whites; the bilious football coach and his boys; the members of the Chess Club who - by the looks of them - will probably all wind up in the CIA; the Poetry Club; the fraternities; the sororities; the daisy chain. Photo after dismal photo. Pose after studied pose. Everything is clean, rigid, well-ordered, symmetrical, with the deceptive brightness of a military inspection in the split-second after reality has frozen to attention, before the chaos of real life resumes once more. You will find no lies in this Annual: no dull, bureaucratic deceptions. The poses, when they occur, are nude, without covering and ornament. You will find the disorder and beauty you have become accus- tomed to, unaware of how precious and unparalleled it is. You will find the loneliness and the gregar- iousness that - far from being obstacles - are the twin poles of creativity. You will find yourself and your classmates in moments of disciplined absorption and of relaxed frivolity. And so, where you may have expected a " yearbook, " a plodding chronicle of one of the most crucial experiences of your life, you have been offered a love poem. Tom Doulis
Suggestions in the Philadelphia College of Art - Philadelphia College of Art Yearbook (Philadelphia, PA) collection:
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