A couple of weeks ago, John Hill (a longtime colleague and friend of my husband) and his wife, Dorothy, came to Chilmark to inter Alvin Eisenman’s ashes at Abel’s Hill Cemetery. Eisenmen had been Hill’s mentor, and his widow, Hope, was there, along with their daughter’s family and friends. Eisenman died a year ago at the age of 92. His headstone, a special black slate, was hand-carved by Nick Benson, a master of large-scale architectural inscriptions, including the National World War II Memorial and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C., the Washington National Cathedral, the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, the Civil Rights Memorial in Montgomery, Alabama, and countless others. Learn more about Nick Benson at /bit.ly/1o8hSrU.
Eisenman had been a summer resident of Chilmark for nearly 50 years, enjoying the house he built off North Road. Some of you reading this may have known Alvin and many not, but his influence — I would bet — has been a part of your daily lives for years without you even knowing. Alvin Eisenman started the first graduate graphic design department at a university in the United States, at Yale in 1950 after being asked by Josef Albers. Eisenman was responsible for computers coming to Yale before other schools had them, and working with GE, IBM and Apple among others. He hired the best in their fields including Paul Rand, creator of iconic corporate logos for UPS (United Parcel Service), ABC (American Broadcasting Corp.), IBM (International Business Machines), Westinghouse, and documentary photographer Walker Evans. According to Boston.com’s Design New England blog, Christopher Pullman, a typographer who became WGBH’s first vice-president for design, said, “Before the Internet was Alvin.” Read Chris Pullman’s “Remembering Alvin Eisenman” in the Design Observer, http://bit.ly/1CeYU3J about this remarkable fun-loving man who changed the face of type and graphic design and whose influence can still be felt today.
I guess the long weekend helps us get over all the closings for the season. Farewell Chilmark General Store, Chilmark Tavern, The Home Port, The Galley, The Bite, and Kara Taylor Gallery. Keeping my fingers crossed that Josh Aronie will be parking his food truck in the heart of our town soon.
If you are looking for great Chilmark cards or postcards, be sure to stop by Hellie Neumann’s photography show at Santander Bank across from the community center through October 17 or contact her at email@example.com.
Get ready for the MVRHS Minnesingers Silent and Live Auction Benefit on Saturday, October 25, 6–9 pm, at Dreamland in Oak Bluffs. Tickets, $25, can be purchased from any MVRHS Minnesinger or at the door and include hors d’oeuvres, chowder bar, desserts and a cash bar. The proceeds will help offset the Minnesingers’ travel expenses abroad in April 2015 where they will be performing at several venues, including local schools and churches. For more information, call 508-939-4053.
And ladies, mark your calendars now for the 34th Chilmark Women’s Symposium on Saturday, November 15, from 9 am – noon at the Chilmark Community Center. This fall’s theme is AHA! Moments, the event is free, but donations are welcome to cover expenses.