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The Art of the Letter: What we can learn from illustrated letters in the collections

Al Hirschfeld's 1954 letter to Edward Weeks.  © Al Hirschfeld. Reproduced by arrangement with Hirschfeld's exclusive representative, the Margo Feiden Galleries, Ltd., New York. www.alhirschfeld.com.
Al Hirschfeld's 1954 letter to Edward Weeks. © Al Hirschfeld. Reproduced by arrangement with Hirschfeld's exclusive representative, the Margo Feiden Galleries, Ltd., New York. www.alhirschfeld.com.

John Steinbeck stamped his letters with a winged pig, Muhammad Ali’s letterhead alludes to his catchphrase “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee,” and Al Hirschfeld signed his letters with a spiral-eyed self-portrait. Read about what we can learn from these and other illustrated letters found across the Ransom Center’s collections.

Photo Friday

Each Friday, the Ransom Center shares photos from throughout the week that highlight a range of activities and collection holdings. We hope you enjoy these photos that reveal some of the everyday happenings at the Center.

A student walks past the Ransom Center’s etching of Eadweard Muybridge’s 'Horse in Motion.' Photo by Anthony Maddaloni.
A student walks past the Ransom Center’s etching of Eadweard Muybridge’s 'Horse in Motion.' Photo by Anthony Maddaloni.
Volunteer Kathleen Dowling handles a vest from the Gertrude Stein personal effects collection, working to create custom interior supports for the vest for display. Photo by Anthony Maddaloni.
Volunteer Kathleen Dowling handles a vest from the Gertrude Stein personal effects collection, working to create custom interior supports for the vest for display. Photo by Anthony Maddaloni.
A visitor to the Ransom Center’s exhibition 'Culture Unbound: Collecting in the Twenty-First Century.' Photo by Anthony Maddaloni.
A visitor to the Ransom Center’s exhibition 'Culture Unbound: Collecting in the Twenty-First Century.' Photo by Anthony Maddaloni.