Mary Epstein Exhibit

The Mary Epstein Exhibit was a project I led to transform an underwhelming lounge into a space that celebrates the evolution of Interior Design and Mary Epstein’s contribution to it. Mary Epstein created the Interior Design program at Drexel University and worked as its department head for the rest of her life.

My inspiration for the space was the evolution of popular materials, so I used chairs as a vehicle to convey this idea. My team felt it was best to section these materials by movement starting with Arts and Crafts and moving through Contemporary. Each movement title is cut out in dimensional lettering with red-painted sides and placed on aluminum shelves that have backlights that turns on at night. We carefully chose chairs that were created during these movements that we felt best represented the materials embraced at the time and arranged them around a red timeline bar made of brushed aluminum with a red powder coat. Each chair is printed on vinyl and adhered to the back of clear acrylic that’s been custom cut to the contours of the chair and is mounted to the wall with 1-inch aluminum stand-offs. The timeline marks its key points by staggering information plaques placed in close proximity with their appropriate chair.

“Though each movement has an entirely different aesthetic, they’re all tied together through the patterned die cut aluminum and light blue paint color.”

Art Deco introduced bent aluminum tubing, so we patterned the background with huge sheets of aluminum that were die-cut into a pattern that continues throughout the entire exhibit. In Art Deco, there are pieces of the pattern that are filled in to represent the material embraced at the time, and it serves as an interesting pattern and texture throughout the rest of the exhibit to make it all feel as though it belongs together.

The exhibit ends with a vinyl print that adheres directly to the wall of Mary Epstein interacting with her existing dedication plaque serving as a point of remembrance to end the exhibit with the person who inspired it.