The Calligraphy & Lettering of W.A. Dwiggins

An illustrated lecture by Paul Shaw
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W.A. Dwiggins (1880-1956) was an advertising/book/type designer, and marionette maker. An essential aspect of the first three of those activities was his skill as a lettering artist. Dwiggins began his career when the Arts & Crafts movement was still in full sway and ended it as modernism in America was becoming ascendant. This talk surveys his lettering and calligraphy in a combined thematic and chronological manner--from the influence of Frederic W. Goudy to that of Art Deco. Some examples of original artwork will be interspersed with examples of lettering executed for greeting cards, stationery, advertising ephemera, books and more.

Paul Shaw is the foremost living expert on W.A. Dwiggins, having studied him and his work in depth for over 40 years. He is the author of the ongoing online blog The Definitive Dwiggins and several articles on Dwiggins for various journals, magazines, and anthologies.

This lecture is presented by the Friends of Calligrapy and the Book Arts & Special Collections Center, SFPL; and sponsored by the Raymond Family Foundation.

Sponsored by the Friends of Calligraphy and the Book Arts & Special Collections Center. For more information please contact 415.557.4560 /

Image: Initials by W.A. Dwiggins.

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