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Al Gowan Fund

The Al Gowan Fund was established in January 2018 to honor the legacy of Albert J. Gowan. Professor Gowan taught graphic design, design history, and letterpress printing at MassArt for 25 years from 1977 to 2002. Known to generations of students as “Uncle Al,” he also started and ran the evening certificate program, co-founded and taught in the graduate design program, and was chair of the Design Department twice. In 2003, he achieved Professor Emeritus status and continued to teach letterpress until 2015.

A champion of design in all its disciplines, Professor Gowan published books and articles on the design process and the life and work of designers who influenced his own thinking.

His lifelong passion for printing and typography was instrumental to the college’s acquisition of the extensive collection of 19th century typefaces assembled by Boston printer T.J. Lyons. The T.J. Lyons Collection, which Lyons assembled from the 1920s until his death in 1987, comprises 2,500 metal fonts, 260 wood fonts, and thousands of ornaments, borders, and photo-engravings. Professor Gowan understood the importance of preserving this collection and recognized the opportunities it offers the college and the community of fine printers.

The Al Gowan Fund at MassArt supports projects of students, faculty, scholars, and practitioners of the printing arts that use the T.J. Lyons Collection.

The Fund will support proposals in the following areas:

  • Self-directed student projects, independent studies, or other faculty-supervised work for academic credit
  • Printing/publishing collaborations between students, faculty, and/or members of the printing arts community
  • Scholarly examination and analysis of the collection

Project proposals will be reviewed by a multidisciplinary team for conceptual strength and will take into account how the project and/or its end product will effectively expand interest in and awareness of the collection.

Project proposals will be accepted starting July 1, 2019 and final decisions will be made in anticipation of projects starting January 2020. Please join us in supporting the memory of Professor Emeritus Albert J. Gowan and preserving the T.J. Lyons Collection by making a gift.

Make a Gift to the Al Gowan Fund