Werner Forman Archive: Calligraphy – the beauty of the written form
Werner Forman Archive press release – 14 November, 2017.
Writing started in Ancient Sumeria, around 5000 years ago, on clay tablets. This was incredibly useful and the “Land of The Two Rivers” (that is the Tigris and Euphrates, modern Iraq) is considered the home of civilisation. Simple writing systems in the Middle East, South America and China evolved to become calligraphy, both communication method, and object of beauty in its own right.
Like many arts it appeared in several places independently – both in the West and Asia in the centuries before the current era. Initially written with a stylus, brush or bird feather, it was a huge step forward in civilisation: information could be written down and preserved. Accounts could be created, showing who owed what to whom. Most importantly, religious texts could be put into permanent form, so that Holy Writ was not liable to the vagaries of human memory.
Werner Forman Archive holds many examples of different writings from around the
world and diverse eras.