Society of Scribes Annual Holiday Fair!  
Sunday, November 24, 2019 from 11am to 3:30pm 
The Brotherhood Synagogue, 28 Gramercy Park South
(20th Street between 3rd Avenue & Irving Place)
$5 Admission/Free with Student ID

Paper & Ink Arts: Please pre-order by November 18 to pick up at the Fair! (some restrictions apply, please see below) **

Join us for the event of the year, celebrating calligraphy and our love of hand-lettering and hand-made treasures! This year’s Fair will feature both new and traditional attractions: * Paper & Ink Arts on-site calligraphy boutique * New Vendors * Rubber stamps & papercrafting supplies from The Ink Pad * New Mini-Scriptoriums * Raffles with Fabulous Gifts * Calligraphy demonstrations * Plus lots more to see and do! We will continue to update this post so please check back for the latest info…

NEW: The SoS Cafe Bake-Off Competition! Contact Ann Shoskes (201-407-0201) if you would like to participate. Submissions must be received at the Synagogue by 11:00 o’clock on the day of the Fair to be considered for the Competition. However, all baked items would be appreciated during the day. No meat products, please. Our judging panel will consist of three judges. The winner will receive a $50 gift certificate from Paper & Ink Arts.

You can see pictures from Holiday Fair 2017 here and here.

Volunteers! We need your help to make the Holiday Fair a success. Please call 212.452.0139 or email info@societyofscribes.org

** Online Paper & Ink Arts orders need to specify in the comments section “SoS Holiday Fair Pickup” and shipping costs will be removed after the order is placed.
Items not included in the pickup this year:
• Large full & half single sheets of paper
• Lightpads
• Easels
• Plexiglass
• Lamps
• Cutting mats
• The Saint John’s Bible Books
(Orders including these items requesting pickup will have that item canceled off their order and will be notified by phone/email.)

(Holiday Fair artwork by Marcy Robinson)


Sat/Sun, September 14 & 15 – The Enchanted Letter with Heather Held
Sunday, October 6 – Watercolor Washes with Ann Shoshkes
Saturday, October 12 – Carolingian with Marcy Robinson
Sunday, October 13 – Uncial with Marcy Robinson
Sat/Sun, October 19 & 20 – Calligraforms with Wissam Shawkat
Saturday, November 2 – Letterforms with Unconventional Tools with Lynne Yun (pictured above)
Sunday, November 17 – Decorated Letters with Kathy Milici
Sunday, November 24 – Annual Holiday Fair!
Sunday, December 8 – Romance of Writing on Dark Paper with Barry Morentz


Calligraforms with Wissam Shawkat
Saturday/Sunday, October 19 & 20, 2019 from 10am to 4pm.
SVA Annex, 214 E. 21st Street, Room 701A

Save the Date! October 19 & 20, 2019 for an exciting and provocative workshop conducted by world renowned Arabic calligrapher and type designer WISSAM SHAWKAT. The Society of Scribes is honored to be teaming up with our colleagues in Chicago to bring to our shores this amazing artist from Dubai.

Look at what Chicago scribes did in Wissam’s Calligraforms workshop here!

Wissam has become celebrated for a new calligraphic style, Calligraforms, which references traditional scripts with modern design. Letters of Love, his 2011 solo exhibition at Reed Space in New York, introduced a global audience to a series of contemporary compositions. With Monumental 11/11, a 2015 solo exhibition and Inside/Outside, a solo show in 2017, Shawkat visually announced his break with traditional calligraphy and his commitment to instead use letters as a foundation for works of dynamic abstraction. He started “Calligraforms,” an art movement that merges the graphic qualities of classic letterforms and the western Abstraction and Cubism. His work is regularly featured in books on Arabic calligraphy and typography, included in museum exhibitions, and acquired by private collectors.

For a comprehensive article by Elinor Holland about Wissam with stunning images of his work, please see Letter Arts Review, Volume 25, Number 3. You can also see more of his work in The World Encyclopedia of Calligraphy, edited by Christopher Calderhead (who most enthusiastically recommends taking any opportunity to study with Wissam!) And learn still more about him by visiting his Facebook page and Instagram.

In the words of Wissam, Calligraforms is more about appreciating the actual classical forms of letters; it is a celebration of what most calligraphers spend years upon years to master. It pushes the boundaries of calligraphy towards more of an abstract art and modernity rather than the norm that is associated with contemporary calligraphy. Within calligraforms different styles and approaches can be applied in the world of Latin calligraphy or even other scripts, because the concept is one, abstracting the letter forms or using parts of it and magnifying the details to create bold, abstract calligraphic works.

This workshop is guaranteed to expand your calligraphic vision and you will discover new worlds of hitherto unimagined and unexplored dimensions of expression. No knowledge of Arabic or Western calligraphy is required, and the class will also appeal to type and graphic designers.

Don’t miss this special opportunity to study with a unique and great artist!
For the official workshop description please click here.

More information about and how to subscribe to Letter Arts Review here.

—Barry Morentz
(Artwork by Wissam Shawkat)


Online registration for the rest of our Fall classes/workshops will open on Sept 9 at 7:00 am for current members and Sept 10 for general public.

Sat/Sun, September 7 & 8 – Intro to Copperplate with Elinor Holland
5 Saturdays starting October 5 – Italic I with Anna Pinto
4 Sundays starting October 20 – Copperplate I with Elinor Holland

Sunday, September 8 – Modern Storybook Script with Kathy Milici
Sat/Sun, September 14 & 15 – The Enchanted Letter with Heather Held (pictured above)
Sunday, October 6 – Watercolor Washes with Ann Shoshkes
Saturday, October 12 – Carolingian with Marcy Robinson
Sunday, October 13 – Uncial with Marcy Robinson
Sat/Sun, October 19 & 20 – Calligraforms with Wissam Shawkat (pictured below)
Saturday, November 2 – Letterforms with Unconventional Tools with Lynne Yun
Sunday, November 17 – Decorated Letters with Kathy Milici
Sunday, November 24 – Annual Holiday Fair!
Saturday, December 7 – Romance of Writing on Dark Paper with Barry Morentz

(More workshops may be added. All dates & events are subject to change until officially posted.)

Shawkat2(Artwork: top – Heather Held; bottom – Wissam Shawkat)


From Traditional Cyrillic to Contemporary Cyrillic:
A Slide Lecture with Dina Ruzha

Saturday, April 6, 2019 from 4:00 to 5:00pm
SVA Annex, 214 E. 21st Street, Room 702A

Free and open to the public. Refreshments served.

Cyrillic art of lettering has a thousand-year-old history. Since the 18th Century, the Latin world has been inspiring the Cyrillic letterforms, but Cyrillic can inspire Latin designers for the new features and forms as well.

From this presentation, you’ll know about historical old Cyrillic handwritings such as ‘ustav,’ ‘polu-ustav’, ornamental ligature script ‘vyaz’ and cursive script ‘skoropis.’ You’ll see the extensive development of the letterforms in the 18th Century because of the reform of Peter the Great. The most exciting part is the revival of Old Cyrillic in the 20th Century and contemporary times. New experiments with old Cyrillic styles do not break away from the high and lasting tradition of the noble art of lettering.

See more samples here.

Dina Ruzha is a lettering artist, calligrapher, and illustrator. She works with publishing houses, makes book covers, and lettering. Her calligraphy works are exhibited in the Contemporary Museum of Calligraphy in Moscow (Russian Federation), and in private collections in Russia, Norway, and the USA.  She has dedicated a large part of her life to teaching calligraphy and lettering. 

07-Life of Gregory of Omyrity, XVII

(Artwork: top – Vyaz; bottom – Life of Gregory Omyrity, XVIII)


Alphabet Magic: Gudrun & Hermann Zapf and the World They Designed
February 20 through April 27, 2019
The Grolier Club, 47 East 60h Street, New York City

2018 marked the 100th anniversary of the birth of both Hermann Zapf and Gudrun Zapf von Hesse. Hermann Zapf’s contribution to type design and calligraphy is immeasurable. His typographic work alone has greatly expanded the language of letterforms through ubiquitous fonts such as Palatino, Optima, and Zapfino (to name a few). Zapf’s typefaces have become among the most used – and most admired – of all time and he is arguably the most important type designer of the 20th century.

No less important, though perhaps less well known, is his work in typography and book design. Zapf has also been at the forefront of type technology. His Marconi alphabet design was the first typeface ever created specifically for digital typography.

Also noteworthy is Zapf’s calligraphic art. It first became widely disseminated in his writing manual Pen and Graver (1949), and has since been seen in numerous books and exhibitions, and has been a major influence on generations of calligraphers.

In 1951 Hermann Zapf married Gudrun von Hesse. She is a master in her own right and across several disciplines. In addition to a remarkable career in the fields of calligraphy and type design, she is recognized as one of the finest bookbinders of the 20th and 21st centuries.

This retrospective commemorates the 100th birthdays and influential work and careers of Hermann Zapf and Gudrun Zapf von Hesse.

The show draws mainly on two collections: The Melbert B. Cary Jr. Graphic Arts Collection at the Rochester Institute of Technology, where Dr. Steven K. Galbraith is curator, and the private collection of Jerry Kelly, a leading calligrapher, book designer, type designer and typographer, who has co-curated the show with Dr. Galbraith.

The Grolier Club Committee on Modern Fine Printing is pleased to announce the

Zapf Centennial Symposium
Wednesday, March 20, 2019 at 5:30 p.m.
The Grolier Club, 47 East 60h Street, New York City

Robert Bringhurst, OC, D.Litt., Canadian poet, typographer, and linguist
David Pankow, Curator Emeritus, Melbert B. Cary, Jr. Graphic Arts Collection, RIT
Ferdinand Ulrich, typographer, writer and educator, occasional type designer, PhD student at the University of Reading
Julian Waters, lettering designer, international teacher & lecturer

Co-sponsored by American Printing History Association-New York Chapter, Center for Book Arts, Society of Scribes, Type Directors Club, Typophiles, and the Cary Graphic Arts Collection, Rochester Institute of Technology

(Artwork by Hermann Zapf)


“Years of Snow: Calligraphy by Anna Pinto”
Friday, March 29, 2019 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm (Lecture at 6:30 pm)
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.

Designing an annual snow-themed holiday card has been a source of delight for Anna Pinto for the last 31 years. In 2017 her cards were displayed in an exhibition at the Hoboken Historical Museum.

In a slide talk accompanied by some of those cards and their preparatory sketches, Anna will discuss inspiration, challenges and process, and why she thinks everyone should make an annual holiday card!

Afterwards, there will be a short general meeting and election of the new board. Here are our candidates for the 2019 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.

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 and engraver who previously served on the SoS Board for eighteen years. She rejoined in 2011 as workshop co-chair. Judy is the author of 100 Keys to Great Calligraphy, and co-author of the 22nd and 23rd editions of The Speedball Textbook and Lettering Arts, and the coffee table book Lettering Arts (1993). She is committed to seeing that the SoS and calligraphy continue to flourish!

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 has served on the Board of Governors since 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 calligraphers. Ann was fortunate to attend Seattletters 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, letterer, and educator. He grew up in Lima, Peru and spent his teenage years in Clifton, NJ. His heart is in both places and his work reflects the best of both cultures. He 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 teaching typography at The City College of New York. He has also taught graphic design at the Cooper Union Summer Art Intensive Program. He is an active member of AIGA/NY, and is also on the board of the Type Directors Club and the Society of Scribes in NYC. His work has been exhibited in NYC (USA), Bangkok (Thailand), Monterrey (Mexico), and Lima (Peru).

(*) 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 info@societyofscribes.org

(Artwork by Anna Pinto)


Calligraphers everywhere are encouraged to enter the Graceful Envelope Contest. Deadline is March 25, 2019 and there is no entry fee.

This year’s theme: Put Your Stamp On It

This year’s theme celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Graceful Envelope Contest and the 125th anniversary of US commemorative stamps. Your challenge is to create an envelope that commemorates anything of your choosing. To “Put Your Stamp On it,” make sure your submission reflects the use of calligraphy and imaginative use of color and design that have been the hallmarks of the contest. And—of course—incorporate postage stamp (s) into your creation.

The 25th annual Graceful Envelope Contest, conducted by the Washington Calligraphers Guild and the National Association of Letter Carriers, urges artists to “find new ways to use calligraphy, graphic design and postage stamps to enhance your entry. It may be a small canvas, but you are capable of big ideas.”

Download Call for Entries here.
Learn more and view past winning Graceful Envelopes here.

(Above: Gerry Jackson Kerdok’s winning envelope)


Registration for Late Spring/Summer classes/workshops will open for members on April 1/2 and general public on April 2/3.

2 Saturdays, April 6 & 13 – Foundational with Eleanor Winters
Sat/Sun, April 6 & 7 – Intro to Copperplate with Laura Di Piazza

Sunday, March 31 – Modern Storybook Script with Kathy Milici
Saturday and/or Sunday, April 27/28 – Design Embellishments with Marcy Robinson
2 Saturdays, May 11 & 18 – Gothicized Italic with Barry Morentz
2 Sundays, June 2 & 9 – Working with Color with Cynthia Dantzic
Friday, June 21 – Flourishing: The Art of the Oval with Suzanne Cunningham (pictured above)
Saturday, June 22 – Modern Script Variations with Suzanne Cunningham
Sunday, June 23 – Flourishing: The Art of the Oval with Suzanne Cunningham (pictured above)

(All dates & events are subject to change until officially posted on our Classes/Workshops page.)

Coming Soon
Heather Held – September 14/15

(Artwork by Suzanne Cunningham)


Finish That Thing!
A Workshop in Two Parts with Anna Pinto

Part 2 on Saturday, February 23 from 10 to 2:30

If you would like to prepare something for our members exhibit, you’re welcome to come for some support/suggestions to Part 2 of Anna Pinto’s mini-workshop: Finish That Thing! While Part 2 will address simple solutions for mounting and framing, there will still be plenty of time for participants who wish to work on their pieces in a relaxed situation with some individual guidance. (Here are some photos from Part 1.)

Our 2019 annual open members’ show will be mounted at the National Arts Club on Sunday, March 3; please see post below for more details. We encourage our membership to exhibit their work — it is wonderful to see the variety of work our members are producing, and also to encourage everyone (especially those starting out) to move from sketches to finished work, and put it on display.

We realize that this can be daunting for novice calligraphers, but please keep in mind that a piece of lettering does not have to be complex or highly skilled to be pleasing to the eye! And it’s a great incentive to finally finish a piece you’ve been dancing around…

To this end, we are offering two short workshops with Anna Pinto that will help you move your idea along to completion, and then help you mount and frame it in a simple, inexpensive way.


(artwork by Anna Pinto)


Linear Language: Annual Members’ Open Exhibition
March 4 through March 29, 2019
National Arts Club, 15 Gramercy Park South, Trask Gallery
The National Arts Club is free and open to the public from 10 to 5.

Artists’ Reception & Gallery Talk: Friday, March 8, 2019 from 5:30 – 7:30 pm. (Talk begins at 6:30 pm.)

We wish to present a wide range of calligraphic work — from amateurs, students, and professionals alike — demonstrating the vitality of this art and craft, and its range from traditional to experimental. This is your opportunity to help create a rich, varied, and exciting public display.

This year we have over 40 works on exhibit by 25 different artists. You can download a full list of participants here.

See photos on Instagram here and here.


Brush Up Your Italic with Marcy Robinson
Sunday, December 9, 2018

Is your Italic looking a little droopy? Does it need some sparkle and pizzazz? Than this workshop is for you! The workshop is designed to improve your Italic and to develop variations in order to expand your repertoire of alphabets. We will review the basic letterforms for the upper and lower case alphabet and variations will be discussed and demonstrated. The do’s and don’ts of flourishing will be examined. The basic elements of design will be illustrated. There will also be discussions of types of papers, pens, gouache and ink. Please bring a sample of your work for critique. Bring lots of questions — there is no such thing as a stupid question! Intermediate level student.

More info and registration here.


Society of Scribes Annual Holiday Fair!  
Sunday, December 2, 2018 from 11am to 4pm 
The Brotherhood Synagogue, 28 Gramercy Park South
(20th Street between 3rd Avenue & Irving Place)
Free Admission! Open to the public! Guests are welcome!

Paper & Ink Arts: Please pre-order by November 21 to pick up at the Fair!

Join us for the event of the year, celebrating calligraphy and our love of hand-lettering and hand-made treasures! This year’s Fair will feature both new and traditional attractions: * Paper & Ink Arts on-site calligraphy boutique * Rubber stamps and papercrafting supplies from The Ink Pad * Scriptorium with Karen Gorst from 12 to 3 * Handmade painted scarves and artwork by Katherine Radcliffe * Watercolor cards by Annette Fleischman * Carrie Lo Art & Design * Oaklage – Handmade Oblique Holders and Pen Cases * Parallel pens & modified instruments from The Vellum Page * Calligraphy demonstrations * Alice & Rebecca Farber * Vintage 1890s Warren’s Pens * The SoS Café (featuring premiere espresso/coffee from Cupa Cabana from 11:30 to 3) * Raffles! Silent Auction! Plus lots more to see and do! We will continue to update this post so please check back for the latest info…

You can see pictures from Holiday Fair 2017 here and here.

Thank you to our Raffle/Silent Auction Donors: Brause/Exaclair, Dick Blick. Maureen Chen, Cynthia Dantzic, Barry Morentz, Anna Pinto, Kathy Wallace and more…

(Holiday Fair artwork by Chavelli Tsui)


“The World’s Best Penman: The Artistic and Business Career of Charles Paxton Zaner, 1864-1918” at Weinberg Memorial Library, University of Scranton

Reception: Wednesday, October 24, 2018 at 6pm

The Heritage Room is featuring an exhibit on the career of Charles Paxton Zaner, penman extraordinaire and founder of the Zaner-Bloser Penmanship Company. The Weinberg Memorial Library has been the home of the Zaner-Bloser Collection since 2010, and the collection has been used in a number of exhibits. Zaner-Bloser, which is still in business, has been a leading publisher of penmanship instruction materials since 1888. However, 2018 marks the 100th anniversary of C.P. Zaner’s tragic death in an automobile collision with a train at the age of 54. Consequently, the exhibit will focus on Zaner’s career and feature calligraphic alphabets, flourished birds, other artistic work and penmanship exercises. But Zaner was more than a penman. He was a businessman, a publisher, an essayist, and author of penmanship manuals. The exhibit will also display manuscript copies of his essays, copies of manuals he authored, accompanied at times by the original penwork and printing blocks, and material from the company he created.

The exhibit, titled “The World’s Best Penman: The Artistic and Business Career of Charles Paxton Zaner, 1864-1918,” will be on display until December 14 during normal library hours. There will be a reception and lecture, by Special Collections Librarian Michael Knies, on Zaner’s career and the profession of penmanship during his lifetime on Wednesday, October 24, at 6 PM in the Heritage Room. The reception is free and open to the public. For further information, contact Special Collections Librarian Michael Knies at 570-941-6341.

More info here.


Registration for most Fall classes/workshops is now open. Due to circumstances beyond our control, John Stevens’ workshops may be re-scheduled in 2019-2020: please stay tuned…

Sat/Sun, November 3/4 – Intro to Copperplate with Laura Di Piazza

Saturday, November 3 – Copperplate Garden with Barbara Close
Sunday, November 4 – Power Pages with Barbara Close (pictured above)
Saturday, November 10 – Brush Lettering with Debra Dick
Sunday, December 2 – Annual Holiday Fair!
Sat/Sun, December 8/9 – Monograms with Barry Morentz
NEW! Sat/Sun, December 8/9 – Brush Up Your Italic with Marcy Robinson

(More workshops may be added. All dates & events are subject to change until officially posted.)

Coming in 2019: Cora Pearl, Maximiliano Sproviero, Suzanne Cunningham, Heather Held and more!

(Artwork by Barbara Close)


The Magic of Handwriting: The Pedro Corrêa do Lago Collection
The Morgan Library, 225 Madison @ 36th Street
June 1 – September 16, 2018

Handwriting works magic: it transports us back to defining moments in history, creativity, and everyday life and connects us intimately with the people who marked the page. For nearly half a century, Brazilian author and publisher Pedro Corrêa do Lago has been assembling one of the most comprehensive autograph collections of our age, acquiring thousands of handwritten letters, manuscripts, and musical compositions as well as inscribed photographs, drawings, and documents.  This exhibition—the first to be drawn from his extraordinary collection—features some 140 items, including letters by Marie Antoinette (pictured above), Lucrezia Borgia, Vincent van Gogh, and Emily Dickinson, annotated sketches by Michelangelo, Jean Cocteau, and Charlie Chaplin, and manuscripts by Giacomo Puccini, Jorge Luis Borges, and Marcel Proust.

Rather than focusing on a single figure, era, or subject, Corrêa do Lago made the ambitious decision to seek significant examples in six broad areas of human endeavor—art, history, literature, science, music, and entertainment—spanning nearly nine hundred years. From an 1153 document signed by four medieval popes to a 2006 thumbprint signature of physicist Stephen Hawking, the items on view convey the power of handwriting to connect us with writers, artists, composers, political figures, performers, explorers, scientists, philosophers, rebels, and others whose actions and creations have made them legends.

More information here.

(Above: Handwritten letter signed by Marie Antoinette)

Door copy

Introduction to Arabic Script with Elinor Holland (above)
Saturday/Sunday, August 4 & 5, 2018



Italian Roundhand with Huy Hoang Dao (above)
Saturday/Sunday, August 11 & 12, 2018 (only 2 seats left!)

(Artwork by Elinor Holland & Huy Hoang Dao)


Beyond Trajan: Greek & Roman Inscriptions at the Metropolitan Museum
with Christopher Calderhead
Sunday, June 17, 2018 from 11:00am to 12:30pm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Avenue @ 82nd Street
$25 plus admission; registration here.
This tour is co-presented with Type@Cooper. (Please note that besides the cost of $25 ticket to join the tour, you will also need to pay $5 entrance at the Museum. Details will be on your confirmation.)

Classical lettering is often thought of as something formal and traditional—but that’s only one aspect of the rich writing traditions of the Greek and Roman world. This tour will explore the wide stylistic range of letterforms from ancient Greece and Rome. Lettering on stone, ceramic, bronze, and papyrus show how materials shaped the forms of letters, and how members of the different social classes used lettering in their daily lives. The range of artifacts we will examine includes personal objects, commercial manufactured goods, government documents, and public monuments in stone.


On the Lettering Beat: Ten Years at Letter Arts Review
with Christopher Calderhead

Monday, June 11, 2018 from 6:30 to 8:30pm
Rose Auditorium, 41 Cooper Square (Third Avenue @ 7th Street)
Free and open to the public, but you must register here.
This event is co-presented with Type@Cooper. 

Looking at letterforms within graphic design and beyond, Letter Arts Review is an international quarterly that focuses on all kinds of original lettering. Editor Christopher Calderhead presents highlights from his ten years at the magazine.

Articles in the magazine have included profiles and examples of work from such contemporary luminaries as Luca Barcelona and the stonecutter Nicholas Benson. Popular forms such as sign painters making ephemeral notices for supermarkets. Kabuki signs in the bold Kanteiryu script from Japan. Monolithic inscriptions from Kathmandu. And historical surveys of the lettering of Piranesi and ancient manuscripts.

Letter Arts Review presents the highest achievements of historical and contemporary practitioners, but also asks how lettering fits into the world of art, design, and everyday life. More info here.

(Artwork: Recent LAR cover featuring Amperstandish typeface by Lynne Yun.)


Working with Color with Cynthia Dantzic
2 Sundays, June 2 & 9, 2019
Details and registration: here

Since color plays an important role in the work of many calligraphers, the SoS has called on a student of the 20th century’s foremost colorist, Josef Albers, to introduce a selection of his most important studies to our membership.

In this hands-on workshop, participants will discover a number of ways to use color to enhance and enrich their calligraphic work. At the very first meeting, you will see how a single color can become two or more completely different colors, depending on their environment. Choices of inks and background colors will take on new meanings, and that is only the beginning.

We found a great post about Josef Albers and the magic of color from BrainPickings here.



(Graphic from BrainPickings. Photos by Susan Story)