Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Victor Hammer—to the greater glory of God

This is a Transylvania College, Lexington, Kentucky, announcement for an exhibition of the work of Victor Hammer in the Lexington Public Library, June 10–July 1, 1950. This vintage portrait linocut and American Uncial type were both created and printed by Victor Hammer. Image is from American Artist magazine, June 1962. [1]

Despite the obvious religious imagery illustrated above, Hammer apparently was not an active member of a Christian church; nevertheless, according to Father Thomas Merton, Hammer was a very faithful servant and a believer. (See Father Louie)

Here’s a brief synopsis about Victor Hammer and his Uncial type, written by The Reverend Travis DuPriest, Book Editor for The Living Church:

A Note on Victor Hammer and His Work: 
An Austrian by birth, Victor Hammer (1882–1967) lived and worked throughout Europe and the United States. He was in every sense of the word a Renaissance man and was a close friend of Thomas Merton the monk, Jacques Maritain the philosopher, John Jacob Niles the musician and countless other writers and artists. His paintings and books have been featured in numerous shows; last fall [1995] the Grolier Club of New York City honored him and his wife, Carolyn, with an exhibition of their hand-printed books and prints. His work is a part of private and permanent collections in Munich, Vienna, Amsterdam, Lexington, Ky., Palm Beach, Fla., New York City, London, Paris and elsewhere. He and his family left Austria during World War II and made their way to the United States, where he taught at Wells College, Aurora, N.Y., and Transylvania College, Lexington, KY. He is buried in Lexington. The uncial type he designed and cut and printed with is based on classical and medieval lettering which is quite curvilinear; Hammer preferred this form for a variety of reasons, one of which is that it purposefully slows down the reader and induces a contemplative approach to the page, the book and the ideas. [2] 
  1. Ettenberg, Eugene M. “Graphic Arts: U.S.A.” American Artist June 1962: 110. Print. 
  2. Holbrook, Paul E. “The Art/Craft of Victor Hammer.” The Archives of the Episcopal Church: The Living Church, 1995-2001. Ed. Christopher S. Wells. The Living Church Foundation Inc., 17 Nov. 1996. Web. 19 June 2012.

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