New York's Moynihan

Merit Award

This exhibition celebrated the long and varied career of the late US Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan. Senator Moynihan was an outspoken advocate of public architecture and urban planning. The museum organized the show as a tribute to the "Senator of Design."

In the main gallery, various segments of Moynihan's life were organized into individual columns massed in the center of the room. Fabricated of cardboard sonotubes, these columns doubled as vitrines that held relevant personal artifacts. The heroic shape of the columns both echoed those found on the façade of the museum building and the stature of the skyscrapered city that Moynihan loved.

Moynihan was a great supporter of architectural preservation so Pentagram integrated the show into the museum galleries in a way that emphasized the building's period detail. Flat artifacts such as notes and letters were displayed in a stacked formation on suspended double-sided panels, alternating with graphics of Moynihan's pithy quotes and opinions. Walls were hung with large black-and-white period photographs and illustrations of the Senator, output as inkjet prints. The design embraced the architecture of museum and worked within a simple color palette that emphasized the building's period detail.

Jury Comments: 

"This project was particularly impressive for its use of bold color, choice of photographs, and use of typography to capture and present the personality of one of our nation's greatest Senators and political thinkers. In ways difficult to explain, the project seems to capture and present the spirit of the man and the spirit of his times. Built within an historic building, the project is installed with elegant detailing that respects the integrity of the structure. As history and the preservation of historic structures was a particular interest of Moynihan, this sensitivity in the installation acknowledges the designer's respect for his/her subject. This is a remarkable installation."

Design Firm: 



Museum of the City of New York

Location City: 

New York, New York

Project Area: 


Open Date: 


Project Budget: 


Photo Credits: 

Peter Mauss/Esto

Design Team: 

Michael Gericke (Principal in Charge), Lior Vaturi, Kalene Rivers




R. H. Guest

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