W. A. Dwiggins is usually celebrated as a visual artist—for his design of books and of printing types, calligraphy, and marionettes—but his skill as a writer receives considerably less attention. Our speaker has just completed a comprehensive illustrated biography of Dwiggins (1880–1956), to be published this spring by Letterform Archive. The author will share some of the discoveries he made during his thirteen years of research for this book, and will treat us to a few examples of WAD’s wit and powers of description in fiction, social commentary, and essays on printing.
Graphic designer, photographer, and teacher Bruce Kennett studied calligraphy and book design in Austria with Friedrich Neugebauer and subsequently made the English translation of Neugebauer’s The Mystic Art of Written Forms. During the 1980s, he worked at Maine’s renowned Anthoensen Press, and since then has maintained his own studio with clients that have ranged from the Folger Shakespeare Library and the Grolier Club to L.L. Bean and the Mount Washington Observatory. He designs illustrated books and exhibition graphics and makes large photomurals. He has lectured and written about Dwiggins since 1980. Kennett is a member of the AIGA, the Club of Odd Volumes, the Society of Printers, and the Typophiles. He lives and works in rural New England.