Letterforms as Design

On display in the Book Arts Gallery, Neilson Library (third floor) through August 2005: Letterforms as illustration, animals, landscape, and ornament.

This capital letter R is from an ornamental alphabet produced at the nineteenth-century type foundry of Louis John Pouchee.

 

The exhibition, “Letterforms as Design”, features books, prints, and manuscripts from the Mortimer Rare Book Room, and addresses issues of legibility and the historical precedents of the forms of the western alphabet.

Decorated types are almost as old as the process of printing with movable types. This capital letter R is from an ornamental alphabet produced at the nineteenth-century type foundry of Louis John Pouchee. Pouchee established himself as a typefounder in London in 1818; his collection of wood-engraved ornamental alphabets is the largest known to have been made in England and the only one known to have survived. Specimens of these decorated alphabets, also referred to as poster types, were printed from the original blocks in London by Ian Mortimer in the early 1990s.

Book Arts Gallery
(Neilson Library, third floor)
April 15 through August 2005

For Libraries hours information see http://www.smith.edu/libraries/hours.

Contact

For more information contact the Mortimer Rare Book Room.
(413) 585-2906
bblument@smith.edu