In 1970, furniture company Herman Miller — producer of iconic pieces by designers such as George Nelson and Charles and Ray Eames — hired Stephen Frykholm to lead its recently established graphic design department. One of Frykholm’s first assignments was to create screenprinted posters for the Sweet Corn Festival, an annual company-wide summer picnic. He designed a new poster each year from 1970 to 1989 before passing the baton to his team, which he led until his retirement, in 2015.
His bold, Pop art–influenced posters have become iconic in their own right, instantly transporting us to the picnic table with their vibrant close-ups of a favorite American pastime.
We don’t know if it’s the subject matter — so innocent and uncomplicated — or the thought that a commercial art assignment could be so beautifully done that it becomes museum-quality fine art, but we find this exhibition irresistible.