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Chauncey F. Korten
The University Record Online

Chauncey Frederick Korten, emeritus professor of art, died from complications of Alzheimer's disease July 28 in Westerly, R.I. He was 88.

Korten was "Kort" to everyone who knew him—from Detroit's auto empire, to New York's advertising world, to his University colleagues. All who worked with him agree that underlying his prowess as an artist, designer and advertising great, he was at heart a master teacher.

A native of the Upper Peninsula, Korten found his way to U-M showing promise as a talented illustrator and artist. He also arrived with his fiddle in hand and earned extra money playing with a band at campus dances. He graduated in 1941 and went to work for Chrysler, where he spent the war years designing Army vehicles.

After the war, he was wooed away by the Ford Motor Co. as an illustrator for Ford Times, the company's popular periodical. Ford asked Korten to join the ranks of Kenyon & Eckhardt, Inc., the company's agency in New York. Thus began a relationship between client, agency and talent that became an industry model for decades.

Korten was an early leader of the group approach to tackling problems, bringing together writers, artists and photographers to overcome challenges and create effective advertising. He became vice president and creative director of Kenyon & Eckhardt. Among the many products to profit form his talent was the Lincoln Continental. Korten and his team spotlighted the Continental sedan and convertible with headlines spelling out prices and subheads reminding readers "there are no lesser models."

In 1967 Korten left New York to create a new program of study for U-M—a course he called "Advertising Workshop." Its focus was creative problem-solving and brought students of advertising together in real-life situations with clients recruited from among Korten's many contacts. Students studied product benefits, competition, marketing strategies and creative implementations, and concluded the course by making a formal presentation to the client. His students were in demand among the country's leading ad agencies and many advanced rapidly to leadership positions.

In 1984, Korten retired from the University and headed to his longtime summer home of Block Island, R.I.
Korten is survived by his wife, Patricia; his sons, Jerome and Tristram; daughter, Katherine; three sons from his first marriage, Noel, Christopher and Kenneth; and nine grandchildren.

—Submitted by the Korten family