: This historiated initial "O" was designed by William Joseph "Dard" Hunter for an edition of Washington Irving's "Rip Van Winkle" (East Aurora, New York: The Roycroft Shop, 1905, p. 23). A historiated initial is an enlarged initial letter containing a painting relating to the text.
William Joseph “Dard” Hunter (1883-1966) was born in Steubenville, Ohio, where his father ran a newspaper business. At an early age the young Dard (a family nickname) learned about automatic typesetting machines at his father's business and about the mechanics of the modern paper mill across the street from his home. The elder Hunter, who was an advocate of hand crafts, was an amateur woodcarver, and for a few years he ran a pottery business with two partners. In 1900 the family moved to Chillicothe, Ohio, to run another newspaper business. Dard was its staff artist.
Four years later Dard moved to East Aurora, New York, to join the Roycrofters, a community of craft workers and artists founded in 1885 by Elbert Hubbard. The Roycrofters were a branch of the Arts and Crafts Movement in the United States.
Hunter created designs for books, leather, glass, and metal, and he also tried his hand at pottery, jewelry, and furniture. He founded a correspondence school, the Dard Hunter School of Handicrafts. In 1910 he moved to Vienna, where he took courses in lithography, book decoration, and letter design. Afterward he settled in London, where he developed a fascination for papermaking.
In 1912 Hunter and his wife, Edith, moved to Marlborough, New York, where he designed and built a water-powered paper mill and designed a distinctive typeface that bears his same. In 1919 Hunter and his family returned to Chillicothe, where he worked and lived for the rest of this life. He founded Mountain House Press, a letterpress printing studio where he wrote and published 20 books on papermaking.
View on Ohio Memory.
: AL05957 Subjects
: Hunter, William Joseph, 1883-1966; Roycroft Shop; Mountain House Press; Arts and crafts movement; Cultural Ohio--Art and Artists; Literary Ohio Places
: East Aurora (New York); Erie County (New York)