In Praise of the humble Letter


Letter writing has gone out of fashion. It’s a rare thing to receive physical notes anymore. One of my least favorite tasks every morning is responding to the emails I get from students and others. If only we could add drawings and doodles to our emails. It would add a bit of whimsy and flair perhaps.

That’s one of the main takeaways I have from Liza Kirwin’s terrific collection More than Words: Illustrated Letters from the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art. Kirwin serves as the curator of manuscripts at the¬†Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art. The text offers these illustrated letters along with a short summary. The letters are grouped thematically with headings like “Bon Voyage”, Graphic Instructions, and “Thank-you”. Continue reading “In Praise of the humble Letter”