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Title 56 a´s made as wrongly as possible
Collection Crafts Study Centre
Calligrapher Edward Johnston
Description Demonstration sheet of 56 a's, two pages on paper, written in a massive foundational hand in blue-black ink. Annotations are written in an italic hand in red ink.
Id Number Current Accession C.86.108
Inscription Signed and dated, 15 October 1931
Subject calligraphy, broadside, broadside demonstration sheet
Measurements 66.3 x 53.5 centimetres
Hand foundational, italic
Material ink on paper
Ink blue-black, red
History Broadside demonstration sheet of 56 a's according to Johnston, 'made as wrongly as possible' (with ‘Specimens of 3-stroke and 2-stroke a's having their stems made Upwards, giving another 28 wrong ones' on the second page). Written by Edward Johnston on 25 October 1931, for use on 26 October at his second lecture at the Central School since his resignation in 1912. At the first lecture, on 12 October, he had been delighted with a ‘very good audience', which included many of his past students, clients and associates: Noel Rooke, Frank Rinder, Margaret Alexander, Rosemary Ratcliffe, Violet Hawkes, Alfred Fairbank, and H.L. Christie.

In a tribute to her father given at the Art Workers' Guild in 1945, Bridget Johnston mentioned how ‘few .. were more acutely aware than he of how the order in which a thing was done affects the thing itself. He calculated that there were no less than 56 different ways in which the ordinary Small-letter a could be made, according to the order in which the strokes were written, only one of them being the correct way'.
Rights Owner Andrew and Angela Johnston/Crafts Study Centre 2004
Style Period Period 1930s
Technique hand-lettering
 

 

 

 

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