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July 17, 2012

The Printer's Art and the Playbill

Though the Cleveland Play House struggled early on to find it’s financial and managerial footing, there was never a lack of artistic talent available to produce first class promotional material for a wide variety of productions each season. By 1922, the number of hand-drawn programs and playbills had been augmented by professionally typeset works by local printers. The Play House was the recipient of two beautiful works of art by master printer Horace Carr in the playbills he created for The Tragicall History of Doctor Faustus (March 31st to April 9th, 1922) and The Tragicall History of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark (January 12th to 29th, 1923)

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Carr, Cleveland’s most celebrated printer, enjoyed an international reputation as an innovative and meticulous creator of typeset works. He was an active participant in the Cleveland art scene from the establishment of his Cleveland printing business in 1893 to his death in 1941. Carr was a student of the earliest printers and a devotee of the practices developed in the hand press period as well as those refined in the works of William Morris. Of note in the playbills featured here is Carr’s signature use of the Caslon typeface and pleasing arrangement of text and ornamentation to convey the spirit of the Elizabethan stage of Marlowe and Shakespeare.

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For more information about the Cleveland Play House Archive please contact Special Collections or visit the Cleveland Play House web site.

Posted by exo2 at July 17, 2012 02:26 PM

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