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Inspired by 20th century assemblage artist Joseph Cornell, Rajie (Roger) Cook turned his talent toward the creation of sculptural assemblage "boxes" that speak to the human condition. In a 16-piece exhibit on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Cook explored his experiences in the Middle East serving on the Task Force for the Middle East, a group sponsored by the Presbyterian Church for 10 years. He found that it is difficult to understand the conflict unless you see it firsthand. "There you have two peoples: People in Israel concerned about security, and people not living in freedom. Once that is addressed, you'll see improvements," Cook said.
Remember those ubiquitous man and woman pictographs on restrooms? Or the airport or telephone symbols along the highway? That's the work of Rajie (Roger) Cook. His firm, Cook and Shanosky, designed those simple wordless images, Symbol Signs, that are now understood around the world. Cook joked about making a career out of telling people where to go.
His work has garnered many awards, including the prestigious Presidential Award for Design Excellence in 1984, and his work has been included in exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York.
Education and Training
Pratt Institute, New York, New York, 1953
Teachers and Influences
Connection to Bucks County
Rajie (Roger) Cook resided in Washington's Crossing, Bucks County where he built his home in 1967.
Major Group Exhibitions
Color, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York,New York, 1974
American Museum of Contemporary Crafts, New York, New York
New York Art Directors Club, New York, New York
New Jersey Art Directors Club, New Jersey
Philadelphia Art Directors Club, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
American Institute of Graphic Arts, New York, New York
Cook's work has been published in:
AIGA Annual, Art Direction Magazine, A History of Graphic Design, Communication Arts Magazine, Graphis Magazine, Graphis Annual, Graphis Ephemera, Graphis Diagrams, Print Magazine, Diagram Graphics, Corporate Graphics, and Novum Grabruch Graphic
Cook published his memoir, A Vision for My Father: The Life and Work of Palestinian-American Artist and Designer Rajie Cook, in 2018
Teaching and Professional Appointments
Syracuse University; State University of New York, Buffalo; University of the Arts, Philadelphia; Parsons School of Art; Smithsonian Museum; Cooper Union; Chicago Art Directors Club; Pratt Institute; New Jersey Art Directors Club; Philadelphia Sketch Club; Houston Art Directors Club; Moore College of Art and Design
Presidential Award for Design Excellence, National Endowment for the Arts, 1984
Pratt Institute, L.W. Frolich Scholarship, 1952
Pratt Institute Alumni Award
Affiliations and Memberships
Board of Visitors, Pratt Institute
Chairperson, Advisory Board, Mercer County Community College
American Institute of Graphic Arts
Art Directors Club of New Jersey
Art Directors Club of Philadelphia
President of Board of Directors, Bucks County Association for the Blind
Board of Trustees, Newtown Chamber Orchestra
Michener Art Museum