“The Best Penman of Our Age”: The Lettering of George Salter | Newberry

“The Best Penman of Our Age”: The Lettering of George Salter

Berlin Alexanderplatz, A. Döblin, 1929. Wing Modern MS Salter, Box 36 Folder 1124.

Caxton Club Lecture: Jill Gage
Wednesday, September 21, 2022

6:15 pm - 7:15 pm

Ruggles Hall

In-person event - registration opens mid-August
Open to the Public

This program will be held in person at the Newberry. Register for free in advance here.

If you would like to attend the pre-program dinner, please register via the Caxton Club website. You may direct questions to info@caxtonclub.org.

George Salter was a German-born designer, illustrator, and teacher. After emigrating to the US in 1934, he established himself as a talented and coveted book jacket designer – and the first designer in America to sign his covers. He worked closely with publishers ranging from Alfred A. Knopf to serial mystery magazines, and his distinctive work remains highly collectible today.

Despite his success as a designer, Salter considered himself first and foremost a calligrapher and was considered by many to be the best penman of the mid-twentieth century. His calligraphic skill is evident in the hand-lettering he did for nearly all his cover designs.

In this program produced by Chicago’s Caxton Club, Jill Gage, Custodian of the John M. Wing Foundation on the History of Printing, will discuss the archive of Salter’s work held by the Newberry Library, focusing on the skillful and imaginative lettering that makes his work so distinctive.

This event is part of programming for A Show of Hands: Handwriting in the Age of Print. The exhibition is open September 9 through December 30, 2022.

This program will also be broadcast via Zoom on September 27. Jill Gage will be on hand for a live Q&A following the event. To register for this Zoom event, please visit the Caxton Club website.

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About the Caxton Club of Chicago

Founded in 1895, the Caxton Club of Chicago brings together archivists, authors, binders, book artists, booksellers, collectors, conservators, designers, editors, librarians, printers, publishers, scholars, and others. Members from these diverse backgrounds form a community that shares a love of printed, handwritten, and digital books and related textual objects, such as pamphlets, broadsides, maps, and ephemera. The club provides a forum to learn about the arts, history, and technologies of these materials, as well as a space to share the joys of appreciating and collecting them.

Cost and Registration Information 

Free and open to all. Reserve your program tickets here. If you would like to attend the pre-program dinner, please register via the Caxton Club website.