W. A. Dwiggins and Serious Fun

Noble Lounge is at 41 College street on the Vermont College of Fine Arts Campus

Bruce Kennett, author of the definitive monograph on the life and work of W. A. Dwiggins, will give a talk: Dwiggins and Serious Fun

The multi-talented W. A. Dwiggins — designer of typefaces and books, calligrapher, illustrator, playwright, set designer, and marionette-maker — often used his artistic powers to argue for change in matters that concerned him, from graphic-arts production to larger social issues. Dwiggins’s approaches were highly personal, and different from the AIGA’s current Design for Good initiatives, yet his goals were similar. He also understood that humor and satire are more effective vehicles for advocacy than are finger-wagging and lecturing, and to deliver his messages with levity he employed a cast of colorful characters, chief among them his alter ego, Hermann Püterschein. Sometimes he indulged in fun purely for the playful pleasure of it. Dwiggins biographer Bruce Kennett will present examples of this work, all of it infused with Dwiggins’s wit and joyous spirit.



  • About the Presenter
    Book designer, photographer, and teacher Bruce Kennett is based in New England. He has collected the work of W. A. Dwiggins since 1972, and has been writing and lecturing about him since 1980; his articles about Dwiggins have appeared in Parenthesis and Alphabet, and his comprehensive biography of the artist (480 pages, 1200 illustrations) will be published by Letterform Archive in 2017. Kennett studied calligraphy and book design in Austria with Friedrich Neugebauer and later translated Neugebauer’s The Mystic Art of Written Forms. During the 1980s, he was the managing director of Maine’s renowned Anthoensen Press, and since then has maintained his own studio with clients that have ranged from the Folger Shakespeare Library, Boston College Law School, and the Grolier Club to L.L. Bean and the Mount Washington Observatory. His projects include the design of illustrated books and exhibition graphics and large-scale murals of his photographs. Bruce is a member of AIGA, American Printing History Association, Boston’s Society of Printers, and the Typophiles. His studio is located in Hartland, where he lives with his partner, Sylvia Davatz, an organic gardener and seedsaver.    

When & Where
Tue, Feb 28, 2017 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM EST
Noble Lounge, Vermont College of Fine Arts
41 College Street
Montpelier, VT 05602