The Art of the Handwritten Note

The Valentine’s Museum Store Manager shares her thoughts on the living art of the handwritten note

New Biba Letterpress Stationery (complete with quills) in the 1812 Wickham House.

With the hustle and bustle of life in 2019, one might begin to think that handwritten letters are a thing of the past – a “dying art.”  However, the art of the handwritten note is what brings the form alive today more than the long, conversational letters of times past.

Today, a handwritten note can be short and sweet. After all, it’s the unspoken messages that really count. That’s where this new project comes in!

Get inspired to write friends and family a handwritten note on the exclusive letterpress stationery inspired by the re-created wallpaper in the McClurg Bedchamber of the historic 1812 Wickham House. locally crafted by Biba Letterpress, the beautiful details from the “Wickham Stripe” wallpaper come alive on gorgeous, weighted paper that is both a pleasure to write on and to share.

So what makes the handwritten note an art anyway?

Like the best art, the handwritten note comes from the heart. Handwritten messages carry more weight (both literally and figuratively) and are often convey more sincerity. Think about all of the Facebook birthday wishes you receive versus that special handwritten card you receive from your grandmother. They don’t begin to compare, do they?

The handwritten note is more open. It allows the reader to think and ponder and feel, much how art requests that the viewer think and ponder and feel. It is also courteous; a handwritten note does not demand an instant reply for fear of getting lost in an onslaught of emails.

Packaged Biba Letterpress Stationery, based on the re-created wallpaper in the McClurg Bedchamber.

The handwritten note is more expressive. You reveal yourself in your handwriting, the words you choose, the pen you choose, the paper you choose and even the stamp you choose to send it. Art is about what the artist has chosen to express, so why not let your own personality and sincerity shine?

The handwritten note stands out. It is both classic and rebellious at the same time. Ink on paper is still considered the most formal way to express our thoughts, and yet taking the time to write a letter is a distinct act of defiance against day-to-day emailing, texting and other technology-based forms of communication.

Become a handwritten note artist today! The Valentine Museum Store has all the stationery and fountain pens (pictured below) you will need to inspire and drive your creative communication.

Brianna Landes is the Museum Store Manager at the Valentine in Richmond.