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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 | 1901

Letters from 1901 - 1960

Eero Saarinen, 1953

Maxfield Parrish, 1918

Maxfield Parrish (110), Letter to Martin Birnbaum, December 4, 1918

Now a few words about divorce so that I don’t have to waste the time on the phone with that [...] You beast! I was just about to send you flowers—for the first time than you wrote about flowers—now you will have to wait—a bit.

Charles Burchfield, 1956

I agree with you that the the tide of mediocrity that seems almost to engulf our modern world is indeed frightening. But I do believe that no matter what cultural deserts are created from time to time, there will always arise a new spirit to re-create forgotten values. That doesn’t mean of course that we have to lie down and quit fighting.
— Charles Burchfield (35), letter to Lawrence A. Fleischman, March 17, 1956 [right]
This will not be written with scalpel like objectivity it is just going to be small talke——-
— Eero Sarrinen (125), Letter to Aline Saarinen, April 10-11, 1953 [above]

Eero Saarinen (126), letter to Aline Saarinen, April 10-11, 1953, continued.

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

All images 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, the Archives of American Art.