SVA MA Design Research

SVA MA Design Research, Writing & Criticism1 is a one-year graduate program2
devoted to the study of design, its contexts & consequences.
Our graduates have gone on to pursue research-related careers in publishing, education, museums, institutes, design practice, entrepreneurship, & more.3

  1. Formerly known as D-Crit
  2. About the program
  3. Applications accepted on a rolling basis. All successful candidates awarded a significant scholarship!
SVA MA Design Research

136 W 21st St, 2nd Floor

New York, NY 10011





(212) 592-2228

Postcard: – SVA MA Design Research

Paul Olmer


After seeing the recent Agnes Martin show at the Guggenheim Museum, I went to the museum store to browse, that most American of activities.


I bought two postcards, one of a painting, White Flower, 1960 and one of a photo Ms. Martin herself, titled Agnes Martin with level and ladder, 1960 by Alexander Liberman.


I am fond of the painting the postcard refers to, White Flower, 1960. I did not recognize the image on the postcard at first, to be honest. Having just seen the actual roughly six foot square painting upstairs in the rotunda of the museum, I had trouble reconciling the image in front of me with the actual painting.


The postcard, a standard, 4 1’4” x 6” had a relationship with the painting, but I’m not sure how to articulate it.


The postcard does not refer to the painting directly, rather the postcard refers to the trip I took to the Guggenheim on a fall day in 2016 when I waited in line too long and I was very cold and then I finally came into the museum through those annoying rotating doors and I was very happy to see this painting, the first grid painting in the retrospective.


I’ll hang this on my wall in my studio and hope that it will make me look smart and artistic. The best-case scenario would be if someone saw it, and then we struck up a conversation about the show, Ms. Martin, etc. I would mention the final piece in the show that brought me to tears, and they would be charmed.


After all, that is why one buys a postcard.