Revival of Roman alphabet and beyond
Our calligraphy collection consists largely of work by the first two generations of British calligraphers to emerge from the early 20th century revival led by Edward Johnston. We hold a large body of work by Johnston and an equally large collection by that of his pupil at the Royal College of Art, Irene Wellington. Some seventy named 20th century calligraphers are represented through one or two works each. The collection has benefited through the generosity and guidance of the calligraphy expert and former Trustee Heather Child.
We have a small but growing collection of contemporary work by Ewan Clayton, Hazel Dolby and Thomas Ingmire and through their generous donations, Ann Hechle and John Woodcock. A Heritage Lottery Fund grant, 'Collecting Cultures' will enable us to purchase drawings and archive material relating to work by the internationally renowned letter carver, Ralph Beyer (1921-2008), celebrated for his commission in Basil Spence's new Coventry Cathedral which is of immense significance in the history of 20th century British public lettering. The following are a selection of makers represented in the collection.
Pioneers and their practice: calligraphy
by Margot Coatts
- Edward Johnston
- Ann Hechle
- Irene Wellington
- Heather Child
- Alfred Fairbank
- W. Graily Hewitt
- Donald Jackson
- Joan Pilsbury and Wendy Westover
Calligraphy: an education in letter form
by Ewan Clayton