Legacy of Letters 2015 with Alan Kitching—Itinerary, workshop and registration
The 2015 Legacy of Letters tour and workshop with Alan Kitching will take place in Northern Italy from June 27 to July 8. It will consist of six days of touring museums, libraries and churches in Lombardy and the Veneto and four days of letterpress printing with the celebrated British designer Alan Kitching. The letterpress workshop will be held at the Tipoteca Italiana Fondazione, one of the world’s premier printing history museums, located in Cornuda, a small town located within an hour’s drive from Venice.
The tour will begin in Milano where we will meet local letterpress printers, calligraphers and graphic designers. Then we will travel to Parma to visit the Museo Bodoniano, the Biblioteca Palatina and the Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Parma to look at the books and types of Giambattista Bodoni, some manuscripts (including the work of the celebrated Renaissance scribe Bartolomeo Sanvito), and Roman inscriptions (including some rare inscriptions in metal). From Parma we will drive to Padua where we will visit the Biblioteca Seminario del Vescovile to see more manuscripts along with several incunabula books; the basilica of S. Antonio which has a fascinating collection of medieval inscriptions; the church of the Eremitani, home to famous frescoes by Andrea Mantegna; and the Museo Archeologico to see more Roman inscriptions. There will also be an option to visit the Scrovegni Chapel to see the famous frescoes by Giotto.
After Padua, we will drive to Cornuda where our time at the Tipoteca will begin with a day of calligraphy before the workshop with Alan Kitching starts. In the midst of the letterpress workshop we will take a day off for participants to either relax or to take a trip through the surrounding countryside to see local sites including the Museo Remondini, a printing museum in Bassano del Grappa, and the picturesque hill town of Asolo. The tour will end with a full day and night in Venice. There we will visit the Fondazione Cini, a private library, to pore over examples of medieval calligraphy, early printed books and writing manuals. After that participants will have free time to see and savor Venice: to visit S. Marco or the Frari, the churches of Palladio, the Gallerie dell’Accademia (one of Europe’s greatest art museums), the Peggy Guggenheim Museum, the Doge’s palace—or to just get lost in the labyrinthine streets of this magical city.
Alan Kitching is one of the leading designers of post-World War II Britain. With Anthony Froshaug he established an experimental printing workshop at the School of Art at Watford College of Technology in 1964. The two men worked together there until 1967 and for several years after that at the Central School of Art & Design in London. They approached letterpress printing from a modernist perspective rather than from an antiquarian one. Kitching set up his own design practice in 1973 and subsequently was a partner with Derek Birdsall in Omnific for several years.
In 1989 Kitching established the Typography Workshop in London to use the traditional techniques of letterpress printing to produce highly evocative graphic images for himself and for commercial clients. Among the latter have been The Guardian newspaper, the Tate Gallery, Borough Market and others. From 1991 to 2006 he taught letterpress printing at the Royal College of Art.
Kitching is well known for his Broadside series, specifically the typographic “maps” which many graphic designers have tried (but failed) to emulate. In these designs and his other posters he uses metal and wood type in ways that transcend the contemporary notion of what letterpress printing is and can be. For Kitching, letterpress is not nostalgia. His two day workshops in London cost £900 and are frequently sold out. This workshop with Alan Kitching in Italy is thus not only a rare opportunity to study with a master, but a bargain.
The price of $4,065 includes all accommodations, all ground transportation within Italy, all museum and other admission fees, all materials and equipment costs, and all breakfasts and two special dinners. It does not include travel to or from Italy itself, though Alta and I will be glad to assist participants with their travel arrangements. Among the special dinners will be a celebration dinner at a restaurant in the Veneto chosen by Sandro Berra of the Tipoteca who is famous for his excellent knowledge of the region’s cuisine and wine. In Cornuda we will stay at Villa Bolzonello, a working prosecco vineyard, that is within walking distance of the Tipoteca. (A tour of the winery, complete with a tasting of its range of proseccos, can be arranged.)
The 2015 Legacy of Letters tour and workshop is limited to 10 people (two fewer than in past years). Alan Kitching prefers small workshops so that he can devote as much time as possible to each participant. For further information or to register for the workshop and tour contact Legacy of Letters at firstname.lastname@example.org. A non-refundable deposit of $300 will secure a place.