Friday, September 26, 2008

letters and letters

This piece, An American Puzzle by Lloyd G. Schermer, a gorgeous collage of old letterpress type, is my favourite in the SAAM (click on the photo for a closer look). I always make a point of dropping by to see it when I'm there, and I always notice something new. So I was pretty thrilled to see this as the subject of a recent Eye Level (the SAAM blog) post, and to get some background on the piece.
"Schermer worked for a newspaper in Missoula, Montana and in 1964 when the publication updated its manufacturing methods to offset lithography (which uses photography to transfer images to the paper), he saved many of the old type pieces, hoping he'd eventually find another use for them. Some type pieces are two hundred years old. Over the years, Schermer has collected enough type and engravings to fill over 900 drawers in his studio."

"It’s fun, too, to note the old-fashioned appearance of the plates: Mickey Mouse looks younger, if that’s possible, and the uniform of the football player seems to be right out of the 1920s. The piece belongs in a museum as a piece of art and a piece of history."
Be sure to search this piece out if ever you find yourself in the SAAM. Just look for the Luce Center, it's to the right just inside the door.

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