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Dimensions: 30 inches wide, 36 inches tall
Inkjet on matte paper, printed on both sides
Artist's statement: Letter 92 is Paul writing to his mother, Matilda, during his voyage from New York to England. Due to Dunbar’s dedication and love for his mother, he was writing to let her know that he had a rough trip but is doing well. Dunbar was on his way to London to sell his book Lyrics of Lowly Life after he got the approval and recommendation from William Dean Howells—who at the time was known as the “Dean of American Letters.” Near the end of Dunbar’s letter, he lets his mother know that he is engaged with Alice Ruth Moore. Dunbar and Alice had been in a relationship via letters for two years before meeting for the first time the night before Paul left on this trip. This poster emphasizes the ideas of love and engagement with one side focusing on family love while the opposing side focuses on Dunbar’s love for Alice.
Typography information: The type palette consists of Brioso Pro (old face) and Cronos Pro (humanistic lineal), both created by Robert Slimbach. They evoke the feeling of the mark of the human hand.
Other elements: The additional lettering was handwritten. The use of watercolor emphasizes and symbolizes the water from the Atlantic. The holding hands illustrate his loving relationship with his mother, and the ring symbolizes his engagement with Alice, which was one of the happiest days of his life.
Paul Laurence Dunbar, Typography, Graphic Design, University of Dayton, Dayton history, Black history, Diptych
Brun, Kevin, "Love and Family" (2023). Life in Letters: A Typographic Poster Exhibition Featuring Paul Laurence Dunbar. 20.