1.7 – Famous Calligraphers & Master Penmen

When picking up a new hobby, I always like to research the culture that has formed around it. The history, famous practitioners, new developments, etc, etc. And, since understanding the culture is important to me, it seems imperative that I include it in this blog to share with all of you. So Friday blogs are going to be a cultural lesson about the topic of the month. For right now at least.

Master Penmen

Calligraphy is often considered a subsection of penmanship so I feel it is ok to talk about calligraphers and master penmen. Plus I need more content for my blog.

The International Association of Master Penmen, Engrossers and Teachers of Handwriting (IAMPETH) has a Master Penman Society that recognizes accomplished penmen. There are currently only 12 Master Penman alive today. The most famous member(and the youngest by  ~30 years) is probably Jake Weidmann. There was actually a bit of viral sensation when he was inducted into the Society a few years ago. You can watch a YouTube video about him here, and read a news article here.

It seems like the Society actually disbanded in 2015. So, if you are interested in being a Master Penman, you might be out of luck unless you want to start your own club.

Calligraphy in Movies & TV

Calligraphy is also extremely popular in films and television shows. Below are a couple of artists that I found.

Daniel Reeves is a calligrapher from New Zealand. He is most well-known for doing the artwork in the Lord of the Rings/Hobbit movies. He also did work on King Kong and Narnia.

DeAnn Singh is a calligrapher from the United States. Some of her works include the National Treasure movies, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Charmed.

When I was started researching this topic, I quickly learned that it’s difficult to find famous calligraphers. It seems like a lot of films/tv shows don’t acknowledge penmen and their artwork in the credits. So, next time you see a penman’s work in a movie, take a moment to appreciate their contributions. You might be the only one who has.

– J



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