Ever get cramps in your hand when you're doing something called "writing"? It's an old-fashioned concept really, putting a pencil or pen (otherwise known as a writing instrument) to the surface of paper and moving it around to form symbols. The once odious task has become totally foreign to most of us as we typity-type on our computers, laptops, and blackberries. I'm proud to say that I know how to write with a pen, but it doesn't come easy. My third-grade teacher would die if she saw how my penmanship has dissolved over the years.
Those of us immersed in the e-world can take heart that actual, hand-written letters still exist. And better still, that some of the most fabulously creative examples of letters from the 19th- and 20th centuries are touring the country. More Than Words: Illustrated Letters from the Smithsonian's Archives of American Art celebrates this vanishing art form with missives from famous artists like Frida Kahlo, Alexander Calder, Andy Warhol, Winslow Homer, and many others. It's a look into the deepest, most surprising recesses of their minds (and their times).
Recently on view at the Georgia Museum of Art, the exhibition obviously inspired a number of visitors who took a shot at creating their own letters, however painful it may have been to their aching hands.
Check out more expressive letters in the More Than Words photo album.