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Celebrating the Publication of the Third Edition in Philadelphia

Thanks to all the dear family, friends, and colleagues who attended the event hosted by Drexel Westphal College of Media Arts & Design to celebrate the posthumous publication of the third edition of my father’s book, History of Modern Design, and coinciding with Design Philadelphia week. The event also supported the David S. Raizman Endowed Memorial Award Fund, an award given annually to a Westphal faculty member who exemplifies distinguished service, teaching, and leadership, all qualities that were so central to Dad’s character both personally and professionally.

Many extended family members and friends traveled to attend the event, from North Carolina; Austin, Texas; Pittsburgh; Washington, DC; North Jersey and New York City; Rhode Island; the greater Philadelphia region, and other places. Although the publisher’s Editorial Director, Kara Hattersley-Smith, could not be there in person, she provided remarks for me to share with the group; Kara was steadfast in her dedication and commitment to seeing through the publication of the third edition in the 2.5 years since Dad’s death. Amy Ogata, professor of art history at USC, and Carma Gorman, professor of industrial and graphic design at UT Austin, both contributed thoughtful review and comments to the manuscript. Carma was a dear friend and collaborator of my father’s in the design field and through their mutual involvement with the College Art Association, and she also wrote the book’s meaningful and moving forward. It was very special that Carma traveled from Austin to attend the event and in her remarks she shared a design historian’s take on the book and its significance.

Focusing on this project was a labor of love. Sorting through laptops, folders, and files; having numerous Zoom conversations with Kara about what pieces we as the family could fill in to assist the publishing team to continue to make progress and move things forward, especially in the extensive picture research process; having an opportunity to review the proofs, page layouts, and introductory pages as the book neared publication – all of these little tasks gave us a sense of purpose as my mother, brother, and I navigated our unique grieving process. We each knew how important and integral this book was to Dad, and therefore to us. We are extremely proud of how beautifully the third edition turned out, both in the images and text: it is his voice, it is him, it is part of his legacy that will always be with us.

The book is a beautiful, bittersweet tribute to Dad’s professional legacy, and his passion for and dedicated service to the art and design history field. As many have asked for the info, the book can be purchased online via Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and many other book retailers.

The trip also provided a treasured opportunity to meet my nephew, Max, and for Jacob to meet his new cousin. Living an ocean and two flights away from family and friends is certainly one of the hardest parts of expat life, but then it’s even more important to spend the quality time, and have people make the effort to see us, when we are in town. And one of the best parts of the visit: savoring NYC bagels, spreads, and my favorite not anywhere to be found in Spain, whitefish salad, with my cousin Danny and his family before our flight back to Spain.