Kurt Vonnegut photos: 1) ©Marty Reichenthal, 2) Courtesy of IndyStar

Kurt Vonnegut Centennial Project
©Stuart Williams 2022. All rights reserved.
Kurt Vonnegut Museum & Library. Indianapolis, Indiana
Eight 50-foot-wide (15-meter) woven nylon banners
Eight Building-Scale Banners: Williams was commissioned to create a series of eight building-scale banners for the Kurt Vonnegut Museum & Library in Indianapolis, Indiana (Vonnegut’s home town). The banners are being installed sequentially on the museum’s facade over the eight weeks leading up to the centennial of Vonnegut’s birth in November 2022. Each banner will be in place for one week, followed immediately by the next.
Each banner contains a photo of this seminal American author, along with a quotation from his writings. Williams developed the project concept, designed the banners, researched photos of the author along with negotiating licensing fees, and was project manager overseeing production and installation. 
Kurt Vonnegut was a prisoner of war in Dresden, Germany in 1945 when the city was destroyed in 3 days & nights of devastating air raids by Allied forces in the final days of World War Two. The bombing created a massive firestorm with searing hurricane force winds that devoured the city’s oxygen and suffocated tens of thousands. As a surviving witness to this iconic event in the horrors of war, Vonnegut wrote his renowned novel, “Slaughterhouse Five” (also the name of the slaughterhouse where Vonnegut was imprisoned).
Now... flash forward 7 decades whereupon the artist was invited to create a light installation on the facade of the historic Dresden Cathedral (c. 1738) marking the 70th observance of the city’s destruction in WW2. “Breath of Life/Dresden” introduced waves of light that rose and fell on the Cathedral’s facade at the pace of human breath, causing this treasured Dresden landmark to appear to “breathe.”
Said Williams, “I see this Dresden installation as symbolically offering life-giving breath to this city that literally suffocated in a conflagration at the end of the war. This installation led to my connection with the Kurt Vonnegut Museum with a speaking engagement there in 2019 and now this banner project honoring Vonnegut’s birth a century ago.”
All 8 banners shown below...
Vonnegut photos: 1, 2 & 4 ©Marty Reichenthal; 3, 5 & 7 Courtesy of IndyStar; 6 & 8 The Library of Congress
Back to Top