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The Inscriptions of Ralph Beyer

4 March 2021 6:00 pm

Virtual Event Virtual Event

Online Talk

Lettering designer and carver John Neilson will be in conversation with design historian Tanya Harrod about his new book The Inscriptions of Ralph Beyer, published on 11 January by Lund Humphries. Ceramic artist and writer Edmund de Waal, who wrote the foreword, will contribute some introductory thoughts.

Ralph Beyer (1921-2008), exiled at the age of sixteen from Nazi Germany, made his home and career in Britain. He was a carver of stone inscriptions, best known for his huge ‘Tablets of the Word’ in Basil Spence’s Coventry Cathedral. These broke the mould of classical formality associated with British lettercarving after Eric Gill — their irregularity and roughness offending conventional notions of ‘correctness’. In fact, Beyer had spent a few formative months in Gill’s workshop, but his own unique voice owed as much to his childhood in Weimar Germany and his father’s wide interests, which ranged from Modernist architecture to ‘primitive’ art. In Britain, Beyer came to know Henry Moore and Nikolaus Pevsner, and was influenced by the artist and poet David Jones. He thus straddles both German and British traditions in lettering as well as the wider art world.

This is event is held in partnership with Lund Humphries.

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4 March 2021
6:00 pm
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