RE-SCHEDULED! 2018 Annual General Meeting with Paul Shaw: Friday, March 9

Old Quaker Health

Due to forecasted Nor’easter, we’re re-scheduling our General Meeting for Friday, March 9!

“The Suitable Motions of Manufacture: The Calligraphy and Lettering of W.A. Dwiggins” – A Slide Lecture with Paul Shaw
Friday, March 9, 2018 from 5:30 to 7:00 pm (Lecture at 6:00)
The National Arts Club, Marquis Gallery
15 Gramercy Park South (between Park Avenue and Irving Place)

Free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

Three men—Edward Johnston in England, Rudolf Koch in Germany, and Rudolf von Larisch in Austria—are widely credited with spurring the 20th century revival of interest in calligraphy. Their personal work and, especially, their educational efforts provided the models, impetus and inspiration for the subsequent practice of calligraphy as a craft or an art. Often ignored is the history of calligraphy as a design skill. This is especially true of the United States where the influence of these three men was limited. Instead, the early American practitioners of calligraphy, members of the nascent profession of graphic design, tended to be self-taught. Their work was often idiosyncratic, marked by a distinctive personal style rather than that of a school. The prime example of this independent American tradition is W.A. Dwiggins (1880–1956).

Dwiggins was a jack-of-all-trades: advertising designer, book designer, type designer, illustrator, ornamentalist, and letterer/calligrapher. Today he is best known for his typefaces, his stencil ornaments and the marionettes he created as a hobby. His lettering and calligraphy have gone overlooked. But, as with others of his generation, lettering was an essential design skill. It informed and underpinned much of his advertising and book work as well as his type design.

This talk will trace the development of Dwiggins as a letterer/calligrapher from his schooling in Chicago in the late 1890s through his affiliation with Mergenthaler Linotype and Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. in the last three decades of his life. It will survey his lettering and calligraphy styles and try to place him in the context of his contemporaries such as Johnston, Koch, Frederic W. Goudy, Oswald Cooper, Eric Gill, and Hermann Zapf.

“… to be concerned with the shapes of letters is to work in an ancient and fundamental material. The qualities of letterforms at their best are the qualities of a classic time: order, simplicity, grace.” —W.A. Dwiggins

Afterwards, there will be a short general meeting and election of the new board. Here are our candidates for the 2018 Board of Governors:

V. A. Barrow (*) has loved calligraphy since attending the H.S. of Fashion Industries where she majored in Fashion Design. Her introduction to her first calligraphy hand came about when she drew a Halloween costume and mused aloud about some writing to go along with it and a classmate complied with a Gothic hand. Since then V has taken classes at Stuyvesant H.S. adult education, Botanical Gardens, SVA, private classes and of course classes through SoS. She continues to take classes as often as she can.

Ethan Cohen (*) is a NYC-based calligrapher and typeface designer. He holds a post-graduate certificate in typeface design from the Type@Cooper Extended Program and works as a typeface designer at Mucca Design. His experience attending the 2015 international calligraphy conference as a recipient of the Dancing Letters Scholarship inspired him to help launch the 2017 Society of Scribes Scholarship program.

Cynthia Dantzic (*) studied calligraphy at Yale and has been teaching at Long Island University since 1964, where she was promoted to Senior Professor. Her courses include drawing, color, painting, 2D design and calligraphy (Western and Non-Western). She served on the board for several years as programs coordinator. Her ninth art-related book, 100 New York Calligraphers, which includes the work of a number of SoS members, was featured in Schiffer’s Spring 2015 catalog.

Nancy Favorito (*) has served on the board since 2009, first as recording secretary and currently as treasurer. She has a background in engineering and spent years working in the financial industry before becoming the mother of twin girls. Calligraphy is her welcome diversion and she is committed to supporting the Society of Scribes.

Judy Kastin (*) is a freelance calligrapher who previously served on the SoS Board for eighteen years. She rejoined in 2011 as workshop chair. Judy is the co-author of the last two editions of The Speedball Textbook and Lettering Arts, and author of 100 Keys to Great Calligraphy.

Eva Kokoris (*) is a freelance calligrapher and designer with an avid interest in the lettering arts. She volunteered for special events before being elected to the board in 2007 and subsequently served as president for three years. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Music from the Mannes College of Music and currently serves on the Board.

Adrian Morehouse (*) was introduced to East Asian brush calligraphy in college, and he continued to practice while teaching English in a rural Japanese town. He later studied graphic and typeface design at SVA. Adrian currently works in the information technology field. His first formal introduction to Western calligraphy was at an SoS workshop a few years ago, and he has been an avid participant in classes and events ever since. Adrian believes strongly in the value of writing by hand and the lettering arts. He hopes to contribute to the work of the SoS to preserve and extend these traditions.

Barry Morentz (*) is a freelance calligrapher, bookbinder, boxmaker, and instructor residing in Manhattan where he operates a studio quite appropriately in the shadow of the New York Public Library. He has been totally involved in calligraphy for more than 37 years, and served on the Board of Governors from 1979-1991, including 8 years as Workshops Chairman, and Faculty Chairman for Innovations ’86, the SoS sponsored Conference in Hoboken. He has taught workshops throughout the US, Canada, Japan, Hong Kong, and Singapore, and is directing much of his attention now to the future of calligraphy and its great legacy in Western culture.

Chi Nguyen (*) freelances and teaches calligraphy/papercrafts for the UFT Retiree Program and privately. She’s been an avid SoS workshop-taker and has served on the board since 1998 doing membership and various other things.

Phan Nguyen (*) is on the editorial board of the newly revived Notes from New York, the newsletter of the Society of Scribes. He served on the Board of Governors in 2016 and hopes to continue in this position to promote calligraphic literacy to an unsuspecting public.

Anna Pinto (*) is a freelance calligrapher and calligraphy instructor living in Hoboken, NJ. She first served on the Board in the 80s and 90s. She also edited the Newsletter then, and came back for another 5-year stint, mainly so she could revive the April Fool’s insert. She is grateful for the many friends and calligraphic opportunities that have come her way over the years thanks to the Society of Scribes.

Ann Shoshkes (*) is a New Jersey based enthusiast of all things lettering. Ann holds a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and has always had a passion for the decorative arts. She fell in love with penmanship while addressing her own wedding envelopes in 2008. Numerous classes and workshops have followed, and she has been so grateful to meet and get to know this wonderful group of committed calligraphers. Ann was fortunate to attend Letterworks this past summer,  and is currently studying watercolor. Ann truly values the Society of Scribes and believes strongly in giving back to this committed group of calligraphers.

Susan Steele’s (*) search for instruction in the art of “beautiful writing” led her to the SoS. She has been working as a calligrapher for many years and had a previous 15-year career in graphic design. SoS has provided her with a constant source of inspiration and local contacts within the calligraphy field.

Chavelli Tsui (*) is a graphic designer who started seriously studying calligraphy with Myrna Rosen during her undergrad years at Carnegie Mellon. Many years later she rediscovered her love for calligraphy while in the Type@Cooper typeface design program and since then she has had the pleasure of studying with many amazing lettering artists.  She runs her own eponymous design studio and is grateful to be able to infuse her design work with her growing calligraphy skills. A lifelong lover of letters, she loves being part of SoS through which she aims to further promote the practice and enjoyment of calligraphy and its related arts.

Juan Villanueva is a Brooklyn-based typeface designer, lettering artist, and educator. Originally from Peru, he grew up in Clifton, NJ and has a BFA in Graphic Design, Illustration and Animation from Montclair State University. He is a proud graduate of the Type@Cooper Extended Program. He currently spends his days designing typefaces at Monotype, and has taught typography at The City College of New York and graphic design at the Cooper Union Summer Art Intensive Program. He is an active member of the Type Directors Club, AIGA, Society of Scribes and loves letterforms.

(*) Denotes returning board members.

We look forward to serving in the next year, and want to remind everyone that help is always needed! If you’d like to join us, or attend one of our bi-monthly board meetings, please contact us at membership@societyofscribes.org

(Artwork by W.A. Dwiggins)