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Dimensions: 30 inches wide, 36 inches tall
Inkjet on matte paper, printed on both sides

Artist's narrative: Letter 121 explores the struggles Paul Laurence Dunbar faced with alcoholism and the scrutiny he received for his illness. As Dunbar writes an apology letter to Professor P.M. Pearson for his absence due to excessive drinking, his sincere apologies shine through. Dunbar explains how he is aware that his apology can’t erase showing up to a recital intoxicated, which led to his career being tarnished; however, he still asks for forgiveness. The imagery was created with an ink-water solution. This allowed for an experimental result that provides the somber and colorless atmosphere. Hand clawing for forgiveness was a reality for Dunbar because of his alcoholism. There is imagery relating to his fight for forgiveness and the alcohol itself as it stained both the paper and his reputation. The type palette is Capitolina (serif), which was designed by Christopher Hammerschmidt and Marconi Lima (Brazilian), and FreightSans Pro (sans serif), designed by Joshua Darden (African American). Choosing typefaces that celebrated diversity was an intentional decision.

Publication Date



Paul Laurence Dunbar, Black History, Ohio History, Dayton History, Typography, Poetry, Typographic Poster, Graphic Design


Art and Design | Arts and Humanities | Graphic Design


Copyright © 2023 by the artist.

The Act



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