Brody Neuenschwander, Calligrapher

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Princeton University alumnus Brody Neuenschwander, class of 1981, has a new book, Textasy (Ghent: Toohcsmi, 2007), which is reviewed in the most recent issue of baseline magazine (Paul Shaw, “The Work of Brody Neuenschwander,” baseline 53 (autumn 2007) Firestone Oversize Z250 .B37q). The book is in process and will be housed in Marquand Library.

Born in Houston 1958, Neuenschwander was appointed University Scholar while at Princeton, a position that allowed him to devote almost all his time (when he wasn’t rowing) to art history. He graduated in 1981 with high honors for his thesis on the techniques of medieval manuscript illumination. His graduate work was completed at the Courtauld Institute in London, writing on the methodology of German art history.

More importantly, while in London, Neuenschwander began studying calligraphy at the Roedhampton Institute. It was as a calligrapher, rather than an art historian, that he made a career for himself.

Over the last two decades, Neuenschwander collaborated on numerous projects—films, operas, and installations—with the English film director Peter Greenaway, including “Prospero’s Books”, “Pillow Book”, “Flying over Water”, “Bologna Towers 2000”, “Columbus”, and “Writing to Vermeer.” Greenaway contributed one of the essays in Textasy, noting that the artist stretches the boundaries of calligraphy, “exploring the possibilities of text in motion, and of writing as a filmed performance.”

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Hi, You might want to add to this note that, as a senior at Princeton, J. Brody Neuenschwander put on an exhibition of medieval mss, "Order, Variety, and measure: The Creation of the Medieval Manuscript." At some point, I bought a copy of the little catalogue for 50cents and was just looking through it. The insight and detail of the entries was so striking that I got curious about what that under graduate curator ended up doing--and googled my way to your posting! By the way, I've been informally advising an undergrad at Penn who would be grateful for information from Mr Neuenschwander about his note--item 52, Scheide ms 20, Book of Hours, ca 1460--in the catalogues about reds from Draecena draco sap. Does he use it himself?

Please do let me know when textasy can be seen at PUL.
Karen Reeds
Visiting Scholar, U Penn. 19 Woodland Dr, Princeton NJ 08540