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Curating Give Me a Sign: Behind Scenes at Cooper Hewitt

March 28, 2024 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM

Alumni Reading Room

On the right, images of signages with text on them spelling

Join curator Dr. Emily M. Orr for a behind-the-scenes peek into the making of Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum’s exhibition Give Me a Sign: The Language of Symbols (on view now through September 2, 2024). This project marks the 50th anniversary of designer Henry Dreyfuss’s Symbol Sourcebook: An Authoritative Guide to International Graphic Symbols (1972), a manual that compiled and categorized thousands of symbols in use internationally and helped to elevate their importance in our world. This talk will share the origin story of the Symbol Sourcebook and the fascinating histories behind many of the symbols that instruct, protect, entertain, empower, and connect us.