A Show of Hands: Handwriting in the Age of Print | Newberry

A Show of Hands: Handwriting in the Age of Print

An engraving shows a disembodied hand writing.

David Roelands (b. 1572) ’t Magazin, oft, Pac-huys der Loffelycker Penn-const (The Store Room or Ware House of the Praiseworthy Art of the Pen) [Netherlands]: Engraved by and Printed for the Author, 1616 

Friday, September 9, 2022Friday, December 30, 2022

Trienens Galleries

Open to the Public

For centuries, handwriting served as a powerful tool for communicating information, preserving knowledge, shaping identity, and building empires. In our digital world, however, fewer and fewer people can read handwritten words.

Handwriting has survived disruptive technologies before. The invention of printing did not diminish the need for handwriting. Instead, it created new markets for ambitious printers and entrepreneurial writing teachers. These men and women used advances in print technologies to widen the influence of handwriting in everyday life.

A Show of Hands focuses on people, cultures, and technology to illustrate how handwriting has been taught, reproduced, and reimagined over the past five hundred years. Displaying a range of books and manuscripts from the Newberry’s collection, the exhibition makes the role of handwriting in the age of print newly legible.

A Show of Hands is generously supported by the Richard C. von Hess Foundation, the Fitzgerald Family Foundation, and Diane and Richard Weinberg.

Cost and Registration Information 

Free and open to all