Kathleen Mangan, the Executive Director of the Lenore G. Tawney Foundation discusses the role of handwriting in Lenore Tawney’s daily life and in her artistic practice. Tawney was a regular correspondent and diarist who filled dozens of tiny journals with fine script, but she also incorporated handwriting in collages and constructions. Fine, thread-like script was superimposed upon lines of text from old manuscripts; written lines were piled atop one another so they could not be deciphered; and at other times delicate lines on translucent paper were turned upside-down. Tawney’s goal was to make “visionary” experiences “visible.”Read More
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Helen A. Harrison, the Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw Director of the Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center weighs in on the intersection between Jackson Pollock's art and handwriting, such as his "use of calligraphic imagery as an integral compositional element" in some of his drawings that contradicts the awkward, halting script used outside of his artwork for personal and professional correspondence.Read More
This Saturday is our culminating event, Pen to Panel, with the Smithsonian's Archives of American Art. We'll be joined by five wildly creative minds for an hour of conversation about the past, present, and future of handwriting. We are thrilled to be hosting the event at The Sketchbook Project's newly-renovated home, which houses thousands of sketchbooks from around the globe. Below are the brief bios of our panelists, as well as a few links so that you can get a little lost, and find much more. But if you're in town, come see and hear from them in person. Did we mention the beer is on us?Read More
Handwriting Continues to Prove Its Nimble Nature • A Conversation with Curator of Manuscripts at Mary Savig
"Technologies of communication, from telegrams to texting, have long threatened the written word. And yet, handwriting continues to prove its nimble nature. The craft of handwriting has flourished online, especially on social media. Artists, thinkers, and makers alike are experimenting with penmanship in innovative ways. Along these lines, the Archives continues to digitize and make our vast handwritten records available online for new generations to discover."Read More
"Designed by Princeton Architectural Press, the book operates much like a gallery exhibition, privileging the visual over the verbal so that we may take in the high quality images as art objects before reading the accompanying “wall text” that complements and situates them."Read More
Working on Pen to Paper was interesting for me because it brought Burchfield’s handwriting into a larger context. While some artists took time and care in crafting letters to friends, Burchfield had little concern for the elegance and precision of the written word.Read More
This project reminded me of the actual, physical connection between writing, writer, and words. It’s especially telling in the context of someone like Whistler, who was such a clever writer and for whom words were his weapon of choice in his battles against the (to his mind, at least) unappreciative British public.Read More
"It’s concerning that kids growing up today might not be able to read letters, read these manuscripts. Flavin’s early text is so difficult to read, you almost feel shut out. He has all these flourishes, especially the way he ends a word. It’s very sad when this kind of information becomes inaccessible."Read More
"Eakins learned his elegant copperplate hand from his father, a skill that was reinforced at Central in his drawing classes. To the nineteenth-century mind, good penmanship and draftsmanship were seen as interrelated skills that reflected clarity of thought."Read More
Pen to Panel
Handwritten & Smithsonian at The Sketchbook Project
September 10, 2016
We are over the moon to be partnering with the Smithsonian's Archives of American Art to celebrate the launch of Pen to Paper, an object of art published by Princeton Architectural Press, by hosting this culminating event, “Pen to Panel,” at none other than the world-renowned The Sketchbook Project. What better setting than a massive room lined with thousands of sketchbooks from humans around the world?
Join us on September 10th, from 6 – 8pm, for an evening of conversation, Brooklyn lagers, and archives. Curator of Manuscripts Mary Savig will be bringing letters from their archives to exhibit in the space, and around 7pm, we'll be quieting down to listen to five incredibly bright minds talk about the art and act of writing by hand today. On the panel will be Mary Savig, Linda Shrewsbury, Tullis Johnson, Luis Jaramillo, and Barbara Bash. You can see more information about our panelists and get a sneak-peek at Pen to Paper by visiting our online exhibition here: www.handwrittenwork.com/pentopanel.
The event is free, and so is the beer thanks to Pipe Dreams NYC! So come one, come many. We hope to see you at The Sketchbook Project for a few hours of wild words. Until then, keep the beautiful pen busy, and ink responsibly.
Curator of Manuscripts, Mary Savig, will be bringing some of the letters from Pen to Paper, which was published by PA Press (2016).