Barbara Stauffacher Solomon

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Barbara Stauffacher Solomon (born 1928) is an American landscape architect[1] and graphic designer.[2] She is well known for the large scale interior Supergraphics[3][4] and exterior signage at Sea Ranch in Sonoma County, California.[5][6]

Early life and education[edit]

As a young woman Solomon studied and worked as a dancer, as well as studying painting and sculpture at San Francisco Art Institute.[7] In 1948 she married Frank Stauffacher. Solomon moved to Basel, Switzerland in 1956 after Stauffacher's death to study graphic design at the Basel Art Institute with Armin Hofmann.[7][8] She later studied Architecture at the University of California, Berkeley.


On her return to San Francisco she designed the monthly program guides for the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.[9] In the short period of its existence from 1970 until 1971 she was art director of Scanlan's Magazine.

Solomon was an instructor at Harvard and Yale, where she was invited by Charles Moore to lead a studio on supergraphics in 1968. Stauffacher had previously worked with Moore at Sea Ranch, where she designed the architectural scale paintings for the building interiors.[10]

She later set up an office as a graphic designer in San Francisco.

In 1995, she designed a large outdoor art installation called "Promenade Ribbon" for the city of San Francisco.[11]

In 2002, Solomon was a member of the San Francisco Art Commission.[12]

In 2015, Solomon works as a landscape architect.

Solomon is the author of the book Why? Why not?.[13]


  • Green Architecture: Notes on the Common Ground (Design quarterly 120), 1982
  • Green Architecture and the Agrarian Garden, 1989 ISBN 0847809072
  • Good Mourning California, 1992 ISBN 0847815412
  • Why? Why Not?, 2013
  • Utopia Myopia, 2013

Exhibitions and Installations[edit]

Solomon's drawings and supergraphics have been included in a number of museum exhibitions

In 2018, she created the supergraphic installation Land(e)scape 2018 at the Berkeley Art Museum.[14]

In 2019, she was the subject of a solo exhibition at SFMOMA.[15]


  1. ^ Paula Deitz (29 November 2011). Of Gardens: Selected Essays. University of Pennsylvania Press. pp. 51–. ISBN 0-8122-0696-7.
  2. ^ Design Book Review: DBR. Design Book Review. 1994.
  3. ^ Jane Thompson; Alexandra Lange (18 August 2010). Design Research: The Store That Brought Modern Living to American Homes. Chronicle Books. pp. 101–. ISBN 978-0-8118-6818-1.
  4. ^ Alexandra Lange (29 February 2012). Writing About Architecture: Mastering the Language of Buildings and Cities. Chronicle Books. pp. 107–. ISBN 978-1-61689-053-7.
  5. ^ Sandhaus, Louise (2014). Earthquakes, Mudslides, Fires & Riots: California & Graphic Design, 1936-1986. New York: Metropolis Books. p. 368.
  6. ^ Poulin, Richard (2012). Graphic Design + Architecture. A 20th-Century History. Rockport Publishers. p. 156.
  7. ^ a b Brook, Tony; Shaughnessy, Adrian (2010). Supergraphics: Transforming Space: Graphic Design for Walls, Buildings & Spaces. Unit 2. London: Unit Editions. p. 279.
  8. ^ Friedman, Mildred S. (1989). Graphic Design in America: A Visual Language History. Minneapolis: Walker Arts Center. p. 254.
  9. ^ "Barbara Stauffacher Solomon". SFMOMA. Retrieved 2017-03-21.
  10. ^ Robert A.M. Stern and Jimmy Stamp, Pedagogy and Place: 100 Years of Architectural Education at Yale (Yale University Press, 2016)
  11. ^ "Skateboarders barred for art's sake". Gerald D. Adams, San Francisco EXAMINER December 20, 1995
  12. ^ "S.F. struck by love / Cupid's big bow gets rise out of passers-by". San Francisco Chronicle, Patrick Hoge, November 23, 2002
  13. ^ "Rebecca Solnit Variety Show for Modern Times". Mission Local
  14. ^ "At 90, Barbara Stauffacher Solomon Has No Time for the Art World (and Never Did)". KQED. 2018-08-16. Retrieved 2019-03-18.
  15. ^ "Barbara Stauffacher Solomon · SFMOMA". Retrieved 2019-03-18.

External links[edit]