Matthew Carter, "Genuine Imitations: A Type Designer's View of Revivals" & the Opening of the Giambattista Bodoni Exhibition

Thursday, February 27, 2014

6:00 PM-7:30 PM

Cost: Free

Providence Public Library
150 Empire Street
Providence, RI 02903

Auditorium (3rd Floor)

Thu, 2014-02-27 18:00 - 19:30

This lecture is the opening event for the Library's exhibition of materials relating to Giambattista Bodoni, the important typographer and printer who died in Parma in 1813. This event will also serve as the launch of the Library's Updike Prize for Student Type Design, a competition to reward student type designers who use the wealth of historical typographic materials in the Updike Collection on the History of Printing

Matthew Carter, a world-renowned type designer, will discuss the role of historical models in his own work:

"A number of Matthew Carter's designs have been based on historical types, ITC Galliard, Big Caslon, Miller, Vincent and the Yale typeface among them. Others, like Snell Roundhand and Mantinia, were derived from non-typographic sources from the past such as handwriting manuals and lettering in the work of a painter. In this lecture he explains his debt to the historical legacy, and describes cases where historically-based designs have been adapted to the needs of contemporary clients. His type revivals have varied in their faithfulness to their models, which raises questions about the responsibilities of the continuator of traditional forms, about degrees of interpretation, adaptation to current technology, ancestor worship, and travesty."

The Washington Street entrance will be open at 5:00 PM for viewing the exhibition, and a curator's tour of the exhibition will take place prior to the lecture, at 5:30 PM in the Providence Journal Rhode Island Room. The lecture will take place in the Third Floor Auditorium at 6:00 PM.

The exhibition will be on display in the Providence Journal Rhode Island Room, on Level 1 of the Library through April 19th. For more information about Special Collections and the Updike Collection, visit

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