Featured Exhibit

Culture Knows No Boundaries

This exhibition features posters designed by students at the Rocky Mountain College of Art & Design in Art History 2300 as their final course project. The posters highlight their art historical research into the life of Titanic survivor and one of Denver’s most famous social justice activists, Margaret “Molly” Brown (1867-1932). The students relied on events of Margaret and her family’s life as well as on historical movements in the history of early 20th century art to present a visual narrative of the Brown’s life in poster form.

Featured in this exhibition are moments in the lives of Margaret as a young Coloradan, a world traveler, a Suffragist leader, and an indomitable activist for survivors and victims of the Titanic. Also featured here are key events in the lives of Margaret’s family, Lawrence (Larry), who served bravely in World War I and her niece, Helen Tobin, a well-known socialite and talented actress. These moments and events are presented to you in styles relevant to movements in late 19th and early 20th century art, such as Post-Impressionism, Art Nouveau, Art Deco, German Expressionism, Dada, Surrealism, and Russian Constructivism – encouraging students to connect art history course content to their biographical research and contemporary design practice.

The goal of this exhibition is twofold – to emphasize the importance of art historical research into the creation of art, and to honor an historic Denver activist for suffrage and social justice as we, as a nation, celebrate the centennial of Women’s Suffrage in America.

The World Travels of Margaret Brown

Anna Zhong (Fine Arts) & Hailey Geurin (Concept Arts)

The World Travels of Margaret Brown

In our poster, you see Margaret Brown standing in her ship cabin in front of a port window, displaying to the viewer photos of her world travels. Margaret traveled quite a bit, not just in America but also around the world including places like Japan, Switzerland, India, England, and Egypt. It was during one such trip to Egypt that Margaret chose to help care for her unexpectedly ill grandson in America when she boarded the Titanic in 1912.

We chose to represent Margaret’s world travels in this poster because we are interested in the global cultures she learned from and what inspired her to travel around the world. The style of our visual research is Art Nouveau (c.1890s-c.1920s), which like Margaret, pulled from and celebrated different global cultures and styles. The colors and font of our poster are earth tones and nature-based because we wanted to show authenticity to the characteristics of Art Nouveau’s emphasis on curvilinear and organic forms.

Anna Zhong (Fine Arts) & Hailey Geurin (Concept Arts)
Digital illustration poster
2020

Home Sweet Home

Brian Sanchez (Game Art) & Jordan Wright (Illustration)

Home Sweet Home

Margaret Brown’s son, Lawrence P. Brown (1887-1949), also known as Larry, was a producer on the John Gorman-directed silent film Home Sweet Home (1926), starring Vola Vale and Mahlon Hamilton. The film depicted the dangers of a “Jazz lifestyle” and its ruinous effects upon a family and their new money. Very little media remains in relation to this early silent film, and it is unknown whether a reel exists to this day. We were determined to re-create a movie poster based off of what materials and references we could find. We felt the use of German Expressionism (c.1910s-c.1930s), with its angst, angularity, and expressive use of color was the best visual reference in reflecting the emotional struggles and compromises depicted in the film. How can the elements of this morality tale be seen in our own modern media and entertainment?

Brian Sanchez (Game Art) & Jordan Wright (Illustration)
Digital illustration poster
2020

Real Men Don't Fall Behind!

Jesus Gonzalez (Animation) & Jesus Lopez (Animation)

Real Men Don't Fall Behind!

The goal of American recruitment poster design of World War I (1914-1918) was to encourage young, strong men to enlist, with a naturalistic and idealized masculine form. We wanted to acknowledge that, but also imply an almost uneasy feeling in our work. In our design we feature Margaret Brown’s son, Lawrence P. Brown (1887-1949), better known as Larry Brown, as the lead recruitment figure, encouraging “real men” to join the war effort. The real Larry Brown served bravely as an infantry captain with the American Expeditionary Forces during World War I, helping crush the formidable Hindenburg line. However, like many men who served, Larry’s war experience was not all positive and encouraging like the recruitment posters advertised. On September 29, 1918 Larry was wounded by a mustard gas attack in France. His family was not notified of his injuries until the following February. Our use of color in this design is influenced by German Expressionism (c.1910s-c.1930s) and speaks to that anxiety of being gassed and the uncertainty he experienced during recovery. We also included a gas mask on Larry’s backpack as reference to the wounds he received.

Jesus Gonzalez (Animation) & Jesus Lopez (Animation)
Digital illustration poster
2020

Dance of the Corsets

Willow Goldman (Animation) & Casey Rosener (2-D Animation)

Dance of the Corsets

Helen (Helene) Marie Tobin Kosure (1893-1943), niece of Margaret Brown, like her aunt was many things, often accompanying her aunt in her travels and aiding in her activist work. On her own Helen was well-known as a socialite, heavily involved in fashion and the theatre scenes. To connect with Helen’s life as a stage actress, where what you see is not reality, we chose style inspiration from Surrealism (c.1917-c.1950s). Surrealism felt most effective for the twisted forms that the corsets produce, especially as our focus, the 1900’s-1910’s styles had reached the height of the pinched waist in women’s corsetry in order to reach the ideal “s-curve,” which gave women’s bodies a highly unnatural look. In our design, the hint of an eye forms the overall composition, watching the waifish forms float through a dream like space. The theater curtain style drapery that forms the outer eye speaks to Surrealist René Magritte’s (1898-1967) works, and of course to Helen’s theater life. As such, Helen stands center stage with a rose bouquet for a face while body-free corsets eerily dance behind her.

Willow Goldman (Animation) & Casey Rosener (2-D Animation)
Digital illustration poster
2020

Welcome to Leadville!

Ashlee DuPuis (Illustration)

Welcome to Leadville!

The theme of my poster is about Margret Brown’s first trip to Colorado when she was 18 years old. In this design, I emphasize the excitement and dynamism of railroad travel of the time (c.1885). I have chosen Art Deco (c.1920-c.1940) as the style inspiration for this poster. Art Deco was not in fashion until the early 1900s, well after Margaret first moved to Colorado, however I think the style fits because Art Deco was all about celebrating new technologies, other cultures, and new adventures. Margaret’s move to Leadville, Colorado and later to Denver with her children and husband, J.J. Brown, reflect those same characteristics. The speed and excitement emphasized in Art Deco posters about train and rail travel of the period also reflect Margaret’s seemingly endless supply of energy to see and change the world.

Ashlee DuPuis (Illustration)
Digital illustration poster
2020

Heroine of Wreck at Sea

Ryan Hruska (Graphic Design) & Rileigh Adams (Animation)

Heroine of Wreck at Sea

We all know the story of the unsinkable Titanic. What about the story of the survivors? Our poster tells a brief story about what Margaret Brown, the most famous Titanic survivor, did immediately after she survived the sinking of the Titanic. She helped others. The style of our poster is related to the style of the Dada Movement (c.1915-c.1930s). Specifically, we take inspiration from artist Hannah Hoch (1889-1978), an influential German Dadaist. Our composition is created in such a way and examines how, to the people of the time period, the Titanic was seen as unsinkable, and therefore nonsensical that it should be able to sink. Our poster is structured as a photomontage, with bits and pieces related to the Titanic, but here we focus more on her time on the Carpathia, the ship that rescued Titanic survivors. It was on the Carpathia where Margaret, despite herself experiencing the traumatic sinking of the Titanic, initiated relief efforts to raise money for other, less fortunate, Titanic survivors.

Ryan Hruska (Graphic Design) & Rileigh Adams (Animation)
Digital illustration poster
2020

Votes for Women

Carla Andreozzi (Graphic Design) & Whitney Grimm (Graphic Design)

Votes for Women

The year 2020 would be a year of joyous celebration for Margaret Brown. It is the centennial anniversary for Women’s Suffrage in America – a cause she dedicated so much of her life to achieving. Margaret was a passionate, dynamic, and tireless activist, working to secure that women in America had the right not only to vote but to be heard in the realm of politics and culture. She did more than march though. In 1914 she was a running candidate for the senate to address social and political changes but dropped out to help with the war relief in France. To reflect Margaret’s deep passion for social justice, we chose a style inspiration focused on reflecting emotion through color – Post Impressionism (1886-1905). Important to Post-Impressionist artists was the effect of color on emotion. In our poster we incorporated the critically important American Suffragist’s colors of purple (loyalty), white (purity), and yellow (hope). We have depicted Margaret standing heroically and waving the colors above a crowd of diverse women to rally their passions for the cause of Votes for Women! What might Margaret be rallying for today, one hundred years later?

Carla Andreozzi (Graphic Design) & Whitney Grimm (Graphic Design)
Digital illustration poster
2020

We Saved You, You Save Food!

Anastasiia Buina (Graphic Design) & Austin Barnard (Game Art)

We Saved You, You Save Food!

The style inspiration we chose for our poster is Russian Constructivism (c.1913-c.1940s). Russian Constructivism embraced the idea of art in the service of revolution and elevating the role of art and the artist to indispensable in the function of society. As such, we chose this style for our World War I home front poster. Much like World War I (1914-1918) recruitment posters, home front themed posters during World War I also emphasized naturalism over abstraction and in a limited color scheme of red, white, and black to convey messages to the general population about how they could help win the war from home. Topics of these posters, like this one, encouraged civilians to ration their food, buy war bonds, or send troops supplies. In our design we feature Margaret Brown’s son, Lawrence P. Brown (1887-1949), best known as Larry. Larry served as a captain in the American Expeditionary Forces in World War I. Soldiers were often depicted on home front posters like ours to remind civilians back home of soldiers’ sacrifice and that they should do their part to help soldiers, like Larry, win the war.

Anastasiia Buina (Graphic Design) & Austin Barnard (Game Art)
Digital illustration poster
2020

Culture Knows No Boundaries

Dale Albrecht (Game Art) & Erik Jorgensen (Game Art)

Culture Knows No Boundaries

Margaret Tobin Brown (1867-1932) was a break away from what was the norm of much of her society in the late 19th and early 20th century America. She was a global traveler, an activist, an art collector, actress, socialite, and a force of change for good, inspired by everyone and everything around her. For this exhibition poster design, we looked to Art Nouveau (c.1890s-c.1920s) as our stylistic inspiration because it is eclectic, elegant, and visually strong enough to celebrate an exhibition about the life and family of Margaret Brown. We also took inspiration from Art Nouveau designers and illustrators, who like Margaret Brown, stood out to make her surroundings and culture better.

Dale Albrecht (Game Art) & Erik Jorgensen (Game Art)
Digital illustration poster
2020

Research & Process Wall

The students wish to thank the following for their guidance and support in building this exhibition: Historic Denver’s Molly Brown House Museum team, Rick Daley, Prof. Jim Reiman, Prof. Jay Hollick, and RMCAD’s Hugh Thurlow Library team.

Student Scholars & Designers:

Rileigh Adams
Dale Albrecht
Carla Andreozzi
Austin Barnard
Anastasiia Buina
Ashlee DuPuis
Hailey Geurin
Willow Goldman
Jesus Gonzalez
Whitney Grimm
Ryan Hruska
Erik Jorgensen
Jesus Lopez
Casey Rosener
Brian Sanchez
Jordan Wright
Anna Zhong

In our poster, you see Margaret Brown standing in her ship cabin in front of a port window, displaying to the viewer photos of her world travels. Margaret traveled quite a bit, not just in America but also around the world including places like Japan, Switzerland, India, England, and Egypt. It was during one such trip to Egypt that Margaret chose to help care for her unexpectedly ill grandson in America when she boarded the Titanic in 1912.

We chose to represent Margaret’s world travels in this poster because we are interested in the global cultures she learned from and what inspired her to travel around the world. The style of our visual research is Art Nouveau (c.1890s-c.1920s), which like Margaret, pulled from and celebrated different global cultures and styles. The colors and font of our poster are earth tones and nature-based because we wanted to show authenticity to the characteristics of Art Nouveau’s emphasis on curvilinear and organic forms.

Anna Zhong (Fine Arts)
Hailey Geurin (Concept Arts)
The World Travels of Margaret Brown
Digital illustration poster
2020
24×36

Margaret Brown’s son, Lawrence P. Brown (1887-1949), also known as Larry, was a producer on the John Gorman-directed silent film Home Sweet Home (1926), starring Vola Vale and Mahlon Hamilton. The film depicted the dangers of a “Jazz lifestyle” and its ruinous effects upon a family and their new money. Very little media remains in relation to this early silent film, and it is unknown whether a reel exists to this day. We were determined to re-create a movie poster based off of what materials and references we could find. We felt the use of German Expressionism (c.1910s-c.1930s), with its angst, angularity, and expressive use of color was the best visual reference in reflecting the emotional struggles and compromises depicted in the film. How can the elements of this morality tale be seen in our own modern media and entertainment?

Brian Sanchez (Game Art)
Jordan Wright (Illustration)
Home Sweet Home
Digital illustration poster
2020
24×36

The goal of American recruitment poster design of World War I (1914-1918) was to encourage young, strong men to enlist, with a naturalistic and idealized masculine form. We wanted to acknowledge that, but also imply an almost uneasy feeling in our work. In our design we feature Margaret Brown’s son, Lawrence P. Brown (1887-1949), better known as Larry Brown, as the lead recruitment figure, encouraging “real men” to join the war effort. The real Larry Brown served bravely as an infantry captain with the American Expeditionary Forces during World War I, helping crush the formidable Hindenburg line. However, like many men who served, Larry’s war experience was not all positive and encouraging like the recruitment posters advertised. On September 29, 1918 Larry was wounded by a mustard gas attack in France. His family was not notified of his injuries until the following February. Our use of color in this design is influenced by German Expressionism (c.1910s-c.1930s) and speaks to that anxiety of being gassed and the uncertainty he experienced during recovery. We also included a gas mask on Larry’s backpack as reference to the wounds he received.

Jesus Gonzalez (Animation)
Jesus Lopez (Animation)
Real Men Don’t Fall Behind!
Digital illustration poster
2020
24×36

Catherine Ellen Brown Benzinger, known as Helen (1889-1970), daughter of Margaret Brown, like her mother was many things, often accompanying her mother in her travels and aiding in her activist work. On her own Helen was well-known as a socialite, heavily involved in fashion and the theatre scenes. To connect with Helen’s life as a stage actress, where what you see is not reality, we chose style inspiration from Surrealism (c.1917-c.1950s). Surrealism felt most effective for the twisted forms that the corsets produce, especially as our focus, the 1900’s-1910’s styles had reached the height of the pinched waist in women’s corsetry in order to reach the ideal “s-curve,” which gave women’s bodies a highly unnatural look. In our design, the hint of an eye forms the overall composition, watching the waifish forms float through a dream like space. The theater curtain style drapery that forms the outer eye speaks to Surrealist René Magritte’s (1898-1967) works, and of course to Helen’s theater life. As such, Helen stands center stage with a rose bouquet for a face while body-free corsets eerily dance behind her.

Willow Goldman (Animation)
Casey Rosener (2-D Animation)
Dance of the Corsets
Digital illustration poster
2020
24×36

The theme of my poster is about Margret Brown’s first trip to Colorado when she was 18 years old. In this design, I emphasize the excitement and dynamism of railroad travel of the time (c.1885). I have chosen Art Deco (c.1920-c.1940) as the style inspiration for this poster. Art Deco was not in fashion until the early 1900s, well after Margaret first moved to Colorado, however I think the style fits because Art Deco was all about celebrating new technologies, other cultures, and new adventures. Margaret’s move to Leadville, Colorado and later to Denver with her children and husband, J.J. Brown, reflect those same characteristics. The speed and excitement emphasized in Art Deco posters about train and rail travel of the period also reflect Margaret’s seemingly endless supply of energy to see and change the world.

Ashlee DuPuis (Illustration)
Welcome to Leadville!
Digital illustration poster
2020

24×36

We all know the story of the unsinkable Titanic. What about the story of the survivors? Our poster tells a brief story about what Margaret Brown, the most famous Titanic survivor, did immediately after she survived the sinking of the Titanic. She helped others. The style of our poster is related to the style of the Dada Movement (c.1915-c.1930s). Specifically, we take inspiration from artist Hannah Hoch (1889-1978), an influential German Dadaist. Our composition is created in such a way and examines how, to the people of the time period, the Titanic was seen as unsinkable, and therefore nonsensical that it should be able to sink. Our poster is structured as a photomontage, with bits and pieces related to the Titanic, but here we focus more on her time on the Carpathia, the ship that rescued Titanic survivors. It was on the Carpathia where Margaret, despite herself experiencing the traumatic sinking of the Titanic, initiated relief efforts to raise money for other, less fortunate, Titanic survivors.

Ryan Hruska (Graphic Design)
Rileigh Adams (Animation)
Heroine of Wreck at Sea
Digital illustration poster
2020
24×36

The year 2020 would be a year of joyous celebration for Margaret Brown. It is the centennial anniversary for Women’s Suffrage in America – a cause she dedicated so much of her life to achieving. Margaret was a passionate, dynamic, and tireless activist, working to secure that women in America had the right not only to vote but to be heard in the realm of politics and culture. She did more than march though. In 1914 she was a running candidate for the senate to address social and political changes but dropped out to help with the war relief in France. To reflect Margaret’s deep passion for social justice, we chose a style inspiration focused on reflecting emotion through color – Post Impressionism (1886-1905). Important to Post-Impressionist artists was the effect of color on emotion. In our poster we incorporated the critically important American Suffragist’s colors of purple (loyalty), white (purity), and yellow (hope). We have depicted Margaret standing heroically and waving the colors above a crowd of diverse women to rally their passions for the cause of Votes for Women! What might Margaret be rallying for today, one hundred years later?

Carla Andreozzi (Graphic Design)
Whitney Grimm (Graphic Design)
Votes for Women!
Watercolor on paper scanned to digital
2020
24×36

The style inspiration we chose for our poster is Russian Constructivism (c.1913-c.1940s). Russian Constructivism embraced the idea of art in the service of revolution and elevating the role of art and the artist to indispensable in the function of society. As such, we chose this style for our World War I home front poster. Much like World War I (1914-1918) recruitment posters, home front themed posters during World War I also emphasized naturalism over abstraction and in a limited color scheme of red, white, and black to convey messages to the general population about how they could help win the war from home. Topics of these posters, like this one, encouraged civilians to ration their food, buy war bonds, or send troops supplies. In our design we feature Margaret Brown’s son, Lawrence P. Brown (1887-1949), best known as Larry. Larry served as a captain in the American Expeditionary Forces in World War I. Soldiers were often depicted on home front posters like ours to remind civilians back home of soldiers’ sacrifice and that they should do their part to help soldiers, like Larry, win the war.

Anastasiia Buina (Graphic Design)
Austin Barnard (Game Art)
We Saved You, You Save Food!
Digital illustration poster
2020
24×36

Margaret Tobin Brown (1867-1932) was a break away from what was the norm of much of her society in the late 19th and early 20th century America. She was a global traveler, an activist, an art collector, actress, socialite, and a force of change for good, inspired by everyone and everything around her. For this exhibition poster design, we looked to Art Nouveau (c.1890s-c.1920s) as our stylistic inspiration because it is eclectic, elegant, and visually strong enough to celebrate an exhibition about the life and family of Margaret Brown. We also took inspiration from Art Nouveau designers and illustrators, who like Margaret Brown, stood out to make her surroundings and culture better.

Dale Albrecht (Game Art)
Erik Jorgensen (Game Art)
Culture Knows No Boundaries
Digital illustration poster
2020

24×36

Culture Knows No Boundaries

Research & Process Wall

The students wish to thank the following for their guidance and support in building this exhibition: Historic Denver’s Molly Brown House Museum team, Rick Daley, Prof. Jim Reiman, Prof. Jay Hollick, and RMCAD’s Hugh Thurlow Library team.

Student Scholars & Designers:

Rileigh Adams
Dale Albrecht
Carla Andreozzi
Austin Barnard
Anastasiia Buina
Ashlee DuPuis
Hailey Geurin
Willow Goldman
Jesus Gonzalez
Whitney Grimm
Ryan Hruska
Erik Jorgensen
Jesus Lopez
Casey Rosener
Brian Sanchez
Jordan Wright
Anna Zhong