Walters Art Museum Announces The Art of the Writing Instrument from Paris to Persia

The Walters Art Museum will present The Art of the Writing Instrument from Paris to Persia. Exhibition open July 2–September 25, 2011.

This focus show features approximately 25 writing instruments produced in cosmopolitan centers such as Paris, Isfahan and Kyoto. Every culture that values the art of writing has found ways to reflect the prestige and pleasure of writing through beautiful tools. Writing implements, such as pens, knives and scissors, as well as storage chests, pen-cases and writing desks, were often fashioned with precious materials: mother of pearl, gems, imported woods, gold and silver. Such items are exceptional works of art that are rarely exhibited in museums.

This exhibition provides a view into the intimate world of the writing instrument—personal objects used by individuals empowered with the skill to inscribe. Among these are a stunning Ottoman Turkish penbox and penholder, a lady’s desk from late 18th-century master cabinetmaker Maurice-Bernand Evalde and a writing-box (suzuri-bako) from Edo Japan. Objects such as these, owned by statesmen, calligraphers, wealthy merchants and women of stature, highlight the ingenuity of the artists who created them and attest to the centrality of the written word in the diverse cultures that produced them.

Museum information: 410-547-9000 or

The Walters Art Museum
600 North Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21201

Post a Reply

Your email address will not be published.