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Keep the beautiful pen busy.

Brooklyn, NY

Handwritten is a place and space for pen and paper. We showcase things in handwriting, but also on handwriting. And so, you'll see dated letters and distant postcards alongside recent studies and typed stories. 

Pen to Paper | 1830-1869

Letters from 1830 - 1869

George Caitlin, 1834

...800 mounted men on these green prairies furnishes one of the most picturesque scenes I ever saw. I would be glad that you could see them. You will see my sketches however.
— George Catlin, Letter to D.S. Gregory [right]

Thomas Eakins, 1869

I will be just as cordial as ever & so will he. That is we will be polite and laugh together. The heart must have nothing to do in that word cordial...
— Letter to "Fanny" Eakins. [below]

Thomas Eakins (63) Letter to Frances Eakins, March 26, 1869

George Catlin (42), Letter to D.S. Gregory, July 19-August 21, 1834

Thomas Eakins, letter to Frances Eakins, March 26, 1869, continued

...I am sorry to have written you such a mean letter but it is what I happen to be most thinking of...Bill & I both have colds fortunately light ones & the little water I put in my wine or something else gave me a week’s belly ache which I am now got rid of.
— Letter to "Fanny" Eakins. "Bill" is artist William Sartain (1843-1924) [above]

1830 - 1869          1870-1900          1901-1960          1961-1970          1971-1990

All images are from Pen to Paper: Artists' Handwritten Letters from the Smithsonian's Archives of American Art by Mary Savig, published by Princeton Architectural Press (2016). Images courtesy of, and copyrighted by, Smithsonian's Archives of American Art.