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group portrait with Maira Kalman
Maira Kalman in her apartment with students
Maira Kalman signing a poster
Maira Kalman's library and students
Maira Kalman speaks to the class

Studio Visit with Maira Kalman

Nov 15 2019

Vicky Chong & Tiffany Pai

On November 7th, MFAD students were treated to a talk with writer, designer and illustrator, Maira Kalman at her Greenwich Village apartment. Maira has authored and illustrated many acclaimed books for children and adults. She also co-founded legendary design firm M&CO with her late husband Tibor Kalman. 

Maira gave students a brief summary of her life and career. Maira had moved to New York from Tel Aviv with her mother. Her mother’s influence on her perception of beauty can be found in her book Sarah Berman’s Closet. Maira also talked about some recent projects that pushed her out of her comfort zone like performing on stage in “The Principles of Uncertainty”. 

The visit concluded with a question and answer session. Students asked questions about her illustration technique, how she found her illustrative voice and how she navigated the relationship between art and design.