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Dimensions: 30 inches wide, 36 inches tall
Inkjet on matte paper, printed on both sides
Artist's narrative: The typeset I chose was in the families of Ten Oldstyle VF, designed by Robert Slimbach, and PestoFresco, by Giuseppe Salerno and Paco Gonzalez.
In letter 198, Paul Laurence Dunbar is sitting in his bed suffering from tuberculosis as he writes a letter to Dr. Fisher. Throughout this letter, Dunbar writes about how he isn’t able to do much because of the tuberculosis disease in his lungs. Dunbar wrote this letter the year before he died, letting Dr. Fisher know his whereabouts and what he does with his time. Dunbar lets Dr. Fisher know there are still family and friends who visit him, but all he can do is lie down in bed. One side of the poster represents the good in Dunbar as he is still welcoming to family and friends, though he must sit in bed for most of the time. The other side of the poster represents certain parts of Dunbar’s late life, such as the drawings he did of the ceiling pattern over and over to occupy his mind. The colored charcoal door drawing represents how Dunbar spent the majority of his time in his room. The door symbolizes the idea of welcoming one inside and feeling closed in on the other side.
Paul Laurence Dunbar, Poetry, Typography, Black History, Ohio history
Art and Design | Graphic Design
Swerlein, Aaron, "Come In, A Very Clever" (2023). Life in Letters: A Typographic Poster Exhibition Featuring Paul Laurence Dunbar. 18.