Pen to Paper: Handwriting in the Archives of American Art
On November 29th in Hynson Hall, Mary Savig, a Curator of Manuscripts at the Smithsonian, gave a lecture on the connection between many artist’s art styles, and the style of their handwriting. Savig’s talk drew on a recent book project and considered how, even in this age of emails, texts, and tweets, there is an ongoing fascinating with the simple act of putting pen to paper. Savig provided insight into the handwriting of celebrated artists like M. C. Richards, Jackson Pollock, Georgia O’Keeffe, Grandma Moses, and more. She also situated these extraordinary letters within the history of penmanship in the United States, revealing how artists have disrupted conventions in inventive ways, from their casually jotted notes to elaborated decorated epistles. This talk provided fresh ways of thinking about the craft of handwriting.