Paula Scher (American, b.1948) is an illustrator, painter, graphic designer, and art educator. Scher was born on October 6, 1948, in Washington, D.C. She graduated from the Tyler School of Art in 1970 with a BA, and, after completing her education, she moved to New York City and worked as a layout artist for Random House.

Two years later, she was hired by CBS Records, but she left after a year to pursue a career at Atlantic Records as an art director. Soon after, she returned to CBS and remained there for eight years as the cover department art director; during that time, she designed several hundred album covers. While working at CBS Records, Scher received four Grammy nominations for her designs. She eventually left CBS to pursue her own work, including the development of a typographic solution based on Russian constructivism and Art Deco.

Five years later, she co-founded a design firm with a fellow Tyler graduate, but the studio began to suffer as a result of the recession of the early 1990s, and Scher joined Pentagram in 1991, becoming the first female principal to join the company. The following year, she became an art educator at the School of Visual Arts in New York, and since then, she has received hundreds of design awards. Scher is a recipient of the School of Visual Art's Masters Series Award. She has developed a reputation for her unique large-scale paintings, including her maps.

Scher held her first solo exhibition in 2006 at the Maya Stendhal gallery in New York, NY. Due to the success of the exhibition, the gallery's owner extended the show for an additional four weeks, and to accommodate the extended exhibition, Scher produced silk-screened map prints of cities, states, and continents entitled The World. The following year, she created screen-prints of the NYC Transit. She has also produced limited edition maps of China that represent the rapid economic growth and industry of the country as it attains superpower status. Many of Scher's designs have become synonymous with New York City culture. Scher married Seymour Chwast (American, b.1931) in 1973, but the couple divorced after five years of marriage. They later remarried in 1989.

Timeline

Paula Scher is an artist and designer based in New York.
Education
Tyler School of Art, BFA Corcoran College of Art and Design, Doctor of Fine Arts Honoris

Exhibitions

2013
Contemporary Cartographies - Lehman College Art Gallery, New York City, NY
2012
London Original Print Fair, with TAG Fine Arts, Royal Academy, London
2011
‘The Art of Mapping’ curated by TAG Fine Arts, Dover Street, London
2011
London Art Fair, TAG Fine Arts, Islington, London, UK
2007
Paula Scher: Recent Paintings, Maya Stendhal Gallery, New York, NY
2007
Notes on Utopia, Maya Stendhal Gallery, New York, NY
2006
Paula Scher: The Maps, Maya Stendhal Gallery, New York, NY
2006
“The Daily News,” Boise Art Museum, in Boise, ID
2005
“Noires-Noirs/The Black Show,” Bleu Acier Gallery, Tampa, FL
2005
“Community of Artists: 50 Years of The Public Theater,” The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center
2005
“Design of Dissent,” Visual Arts Museum at the School of Visual Arts, New York, NY
2005
“Repetitions,” Maya Stendhal Gallery, New York, NY
2005
“The Maps: Recent Paintings,” Maya Stendhal Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
2005
“Collection d’Affiches les Silos, la Maison du Livre et de l’Affiche,” Chaumont, France (solo)
2005
“The Daily News,” Salt Lake Art Center, Salt Lake City, UT
2004
“The Daily News,” Nicolaysen Art Museum and Discovery Center, Casper, WY
2004
“Ballpoint,” The Gallery at Pentagram, London
2004
“Pentagram: A World of Typography,” Klingspor-Museum Offenbach, Offenbach am Main, Germany
2004
“Graphic Design of Three Continents,” Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, Tehran
2004
“National Design Triennial: Inside Design Now,” Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, New York, NY
2002
“What Is Design Today?” The Design Center at Philadelphia University, PA
2002
“US Design,” Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, Memphis, TN
2002
“US Design 1975-2000,” Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO
2002
“US Design 1975-2000,” Museum of Arts and Design, New York, NY
2002
“The Master Series: Paula Scher,” Visual Arts Museum at the School of Visual Arts, New York (solo)
2002
“Paula Scher,” Temple Gallery, Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia (solo)
1999
“Type Is Image,” DDD Gallery, Osaka, JapanSelected (solo)