In Focus

Letter A detail from Desideratum… (1874) by F.W. Devoe & Co. Arts Library Special Collections call number AOB 55

September 25–December 15, 2017

A letter is the smallest unit in an alphabetic system of writing, though this is only one of many systems for recording and transmitting language. Letterforms also have meaning beyond the speech sounds they represent. Their formal and material qualities bear witness to a long tradition of abstract symbols enabling the exchange of ideas. The flourish of a pen stroke or particular angle of a serif reveals technological constraints and stylistic conventions. The lines of letterforms are marks of re-creation, refinement, and reinterpretation.

Jesse Marsolais, Proprietor, Marsolais Press & Lettercarving

Learn about letters and stone carving over your lunch hour! On Thursday, September 28, from 12:45-1:45 p.m., the Arts Library will be hosting letterpress printer and stone carver Jesse Marsolais. He will speak about his work and give a stone carving demonstration in the Great Hall of the Robert B. Haas Family Arts Library. Marsolais maintains a “commitment to the original tools and methods of production.” Stop by to see a mallet and chisel at work.