Pen to Paper – Artists’ Hand Written Letters Book

The Pen to paper artists’ hand written letters book from 2016 we are looking at today. I first came across it this week looking at the National Postal Museum Shop online. 

Also, later this week with St. Patrick’s Day this Friday you will have fun knowing there is a St. Patrick’s Pictorial Postmark from the City of Shamrock, Texas available for 2023 (more on it below).  

About Pen to Paper: Artists’ Handwritten Letters from the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art by Mary Savig

Note – I’m even including a TLDR (too long didn’t read) short section on the book further below.

What’s interesting to me is that although the photo of the book cover is still on the National Postal Museum Shop  landing page, apparently the book itself is no longer available there. This makes sense given the book came out in 2016; however, I am able to find it at Goodreads, AbeBooks, and Amazon.

From looking at its description the essays included is catching my eye:

“… a collection of letters by artists from the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art, reveals how letter writing can be an artistic act, just as an artist puts pen to paper to craft a line in a drawing. Brief essays explore what can be learned from the handwriting of celebrated artists such as Mary Cassatt, Frederic Church, Howard Finster, Winslow Homer, Ray Johnson, Rockwell Kent, Georgia O’Keeffe, Claes Oldenburg, Maxfield Parrish, Eero Saarinen, Saul Steinberg, and many others…”

I’m especially interested in Saul Steinberg, as The Saul Steinberg Foundation website, describes him “While renowned for the covers and drawings that appeared in The New Yorker for nearly six decades.”

For the TLDR (Too Long Didn’t Read) wanting a quick summary, one of the reviews on Goodreads, includes this perspective from Matt Hinrichs.

“Mary Savig, curator of manuscripts at the Archives, selected 55 standout examples of artists’ letters from the museum’s files to be reproduced in these pages. Each letter gets printed on a full page (or more), alongside context-setting descriptions of what happening in each artists’ life written by an art historian… Arranged alphabetically by artist’s name, the letters range in age from the early 19th century up through 2004, when handwritten letters had been replaced by e-mail.”

This is one book I’m definitely ordering. Behind the scenes here at AnchoredScraps – I’m looking forward to receiving this book and am considering having a zoom book club get together for us. This would be for us to compare our notes on it – more on that to follow! Stay tuned!

Pictorial Postmark for St. Patrick’s Day 2023

St. Patrick’s Association – City of Shamrock Texas 2023 Pictorial Postmark

Over at the USPS Postal Bulletin 22619 it is showing this one available for requesting by mail, with “requests must be postmarked no later than 30 days following the requested pictorial postmark date.”

March 17–20, 2023
St. Patrick’s Association – City of Shamrock
St. Patrick’s Station
210 North Madden Street
Shamrock, TX 79079-9998

Here’s to remembering to wear green this Friday for St. Patrick’s. And for fun writing our letters that day with green ink!  Wishing you a great week ahead. See you back here next Sunday!

Anchors Aweigh,  


AnchoredScraps blog post #2210

Thanks & Attribution, links referencing above along with images

You may also enjoy my April 8, 2017 blog post on Smithsonian National Postal Museum World War I Letters Exhibit



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