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At Home in Buffalo: Osborn Exhibit Unveiled at Buffalo State

At Home in Buffalo: Osborn Exhibit Unveiled at Buffalo State

Posted: November 1, 2016

Alex F. Osborn wrote in the Buffalo Evening News, “I was born in New York City…But Buffalo won my heart, and I soon decided to make this my home for good.”

This clipping is among the archival materials that were donated to E. H. Butler Library by Osborn’s family. On Friday, October 28, the Alex Osborn Exhibit was unveiled at the library. Osborn, cofounder of the historic advertising agency BBDO, served as manager of its Buffalo office and commuted to New York City when he became chairman of the New York City-based agency. Osborn’s daughter, Lannie Gardner, and son, Russ Obsorn (both pictured at left), were among the guests.

Barb Moslow (picturedat left), his granddaughter and executor of his estate, told how the family worked with the library staff to prepare Osborn’s archives.

While BBDO continues to be internationally known, Osborn himself is best remembered as the inventor of brainstorming and is widely credited with founding the field of creative education. He published several books in the field, and appeared on Edward Morrow’s This I Believe shortly after publishing Applied Imagination.


The International Center for Studies in Creativity began when, in 1967, Osborn’s colleagues in creativity education moved their undergraduate courses to Buffalo State. “We are grateful to Osborn’s family for donating his archives to Buffalo State,” said Gerard Puccio, professor and chair of Creative Studies. “And, as we approach our 50th anniversary, we are pleased to continue his efforts to promote the study and practice of creativity.”

Dan DiLandro, archivist, and Molly Holinger, graduate student in Creative Studies, worked with the family to develop the permanent exhibit in the library. Digitized material about Osborn and the International Center for Studies in Creativity is available online; the archival material itself is available at Buffalo State in the E. H. Butler Library Archives

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