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The Alphabet We Know, from Wordswordswords

A work made of letterpress in black on gray wove paper.

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  • A work made of letterpress in black on gray wove paper.




Edwin Schlossberg (American, born 1945)
letterpress hand-set and hand-printed by Christopher Pullman
published by Universal Limited Art Editions (American, founded 1955)

About this artwork

Characterized as an author, painter, poet, philosopher, gamesman, scientist, inventor, and teacher, Edwin Schlossberg saw his life’s work as getting people to think for themselves. In Wordswordswords, he deliberately ignored some of the basic rules of printing in order to make reading a physical act. Wordswordswords is a virtual “what not to do” in printmaking: misalignment, misspelling, reversals, accidental masking, creased paper, blind embossing, and fragmented letters. Of this piece Schlossberg said, “I hope they see the words, and then I hope they see themselves.”


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Prints and Drawings


Edwin Schlossberg


The Alphabet We Know, from Wordswordswords


United States (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Letterpress in black on gray wove paper


Image: 23 × 19.5 cm (9 1/16 × 7 11/16 in.); Sheet: 28 × 21.7 cm (11 1/16 × 8 9/16 in.)

Credit Line

U.L.A.E. Collection acquired through a challenge grant of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Dittmer; purchased with funds provided by supporters of the Department of Prints and Drawings; Centennial Endowment; Margaret Fisher Endowment Fund

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

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