If you love calligraphy and mail, envelope or lettering art, you have until October 11th to see the do-not-miss exhibit “Letters to Myself: The Calligraphic First Day Covers of Alan A. Blackman” at the Jewett Gallery on the lower floor of the San Francisco Public Library.
Alan Blackman, master calligrapher, letter artist, teacher and font designer, shows us 200 hand-decorated envelopes from his collection of a thousand which over 40 years he sent to himself and to his late son Stephen, to whom the exhibit is dedicated.
In the program Blackman explains that for the “first ten years most of my envelopes bore identical addresses [to myself and Stephen in] my italic & uncial handwriting.” Later he “began to use color more adventurously.” And gradually “the images on the stamps became the inspiration for the design of the lettering.”
The envelopes, some grouped by theme, include first-day cover postage stamps from the US, Canada, Great Britain, and several other countries.
The colors are glorious.
And the artful rendition of the lettering, with such widely varied subjects as inspired by the stamps, is staggering in its creativity.
I’ve shown you just a few of my favorites, please go see them all for yourself. For non-locals, you can see the envelopes online at Mr. Blackman’s website.