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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

Introduction to Calligraphy: The Foundational Hand
6-Session Evening Class

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Mon. Jul. 8–Aug. 12, 6:30 to 9 p.m.
Code: 1K00AF

The elegance of a hand-lettered invitation, place card, or letter cannot be matched by a machine. For this reason, the art of calligraphy has survived, despite the availability of today's printing and computer technology.

In this class, learn the Foundational hand, an alphabet developed from 10th-century English manuscripts that evolved from the Roman alphabet. The Foundational hand, based on the circular "o," is the perfect training hand for beginners. As well as being a beautiful, readable hand, it provides a great foundation for more advanced letterforms. Students learn how to set up their workspace; create skeletal Roman forms using double pencils; use the chiseled-edge pen; and begin to learn both minuscule (small-case) and majuscule (large-case) letterforms. Basic layout and design are also discussed as students learn to create their own pieces. Supplies are provided.

Instructor Shane Perry is an experienced fine-art calligrapher. He was the winner of the Hermann Zapf Scholarship in 2008 through the Washington Calligraphers Guild.

6 sessions, 2 1/2 hours each

Smithsonian Connections

Throughout history, important documents were drafted using various forms of calligraphy. In a blend of science and art, Simeon De Witt's Revolutionary War era star map was created by hand using calligraphic and various measuring tools.


S. Dillon Ripley Center
Room 3038/39
1100 Jefferson Drive, SW
Metro: Smithsonian (Blue/Orange Lines)