“The Best Penman of Our Age”: The Lettering of George Salter - Caxton Club Lecture with Jill Gage


Wednesday, September 21, 2022

6:15 PM to 7:15 PM

Central Time (US & Canada)


This program is free and open to all; free tickets required. The registration period has closed for this event.


George Salter was a German-born designer, illustrator, and teacher. After emigrating to the US in 1934, he established himself as a talented and coveted book jacket designer – and the first designer in America to sign his covers. He worked closely with publishers ranging from Alfred A. Knopf to serial mystery magazines, and his distinctive work remains highly collectible today.

Despite his success as a designer, Salter considered himself first and foremost a calligrapher and was considered by many to be the best penman of the mid-twentieth century. His calligraphic skill is evident in the hand-lettering he did for nearly all his cover designs.

In this program produced by Chicago's Caxton Club, Jill Gage, Custodian of the John M. Wing Foundation on the History of Printing, will discuss the archive of Salter's work held by the Newberry Library, focusing on the skillful and imaginative lettering that makes his work so distinctive.

This event is part of programming for A Show of Hands: Handwriting in the Age of Print. The exhibition is open September 9 through December 30, 2022.

This program will also be broadcast via Zoom on September 27. Jill Gage will be on hand for a live Q&A following the event. To register for this Zoom event, please visit the Caxton Club website.


We look forward to seeing attendees at the Newberry, where you can now visit our reading rooms, exhibition galleries, and bookshop.

Please note: This program will be held in person at the Newberry. As we welcome visitors to the library, we're continuing to closely monitor health and safety conditions related to COVID-19 in Chicago. Click here for our visitor policy.



Newberry Library
60 West Walton Street
Chicago, IL 60610

Click here for directions

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Contact us at publicprograms@newberry.org