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Dimensions: 30 inches wide, 36 inches tall
Inkjet on matte paper, printed on both sides
Artist statement: In Letter 62, Paul Laurence Dunbar writes to the famed literary critic William Dean Howells to show gratitude after he reviewed Dunbar’s Majors and Minors. This review was a turning point in Dunbar’s life and would skyrocket his career onward. Howells gave Dunbar great recognition for his literary style and the use of dialect but would also actively undermine his race in his praises. While Dunbar was grateful for the review, he was less enthused by how he was portrayed as an African American. Howells used racist language in his review, "separate but equal," which is the fundamental structure of this poster. While he saw Dunbar as an excellent writer, he wanted him to strictly write in colloquial, informal English where he believed Dunbar was “most himself."
Typography: This poster uses transitional and humanistic lineal typefaces to reflect the same transitional phase Dunbar was experiencing at this point in his life, where he was overcome with excitement and fear.
Paul Laurence Dunbar, Dayton history, Black history, Dayton, Typography, University of Dayton, Graphic Design
Art and Design | Graphic Design
Kentopp, William, "More Kind to Me Than Just ..." (2023). Life in Letters: A Typographic Poster Exhibition Featuring Paul Laurence Dunbar. 23.