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I am presently putting together a proposal for a museum exhibition on the intersections of type design and national identity. The era I have in mind spans from the end of the nineteenth century to the middle of the twentieth (essentially the era dominated by production for Monotype/Linotype machines).
I am looking for two kinds of ideas: suggestions of appropriate "case studies" that fit the theme; and suggestions of what types of "objects" might make for an engaging exhibition of historical type design.
For the case studies, I already have some ideas in mind, such as
- Norwegian identity and Gerhard Munthe's revival of medieval lettering
- Koch and the modern German blackletter
- Gill's Sans as against nationalism and internationalism
- modernization and standardization efforts in Weimar Germany (with an eye to international markets)
- the changing Nazi policy on blackletter
- Frutiger and Swiss design education
- Zapf's Palatino and the meaning of Italian Renaissance at midcentury
- Goudy, Dwiggins, and the development of an American type design
For the objects, any suggestions are welcome. I am sure I could display books that show some of the types at issue. I also think it'd be nice to show a linotype slug or the like, if I can get my hands on one. I'll particularly be looking into local (Twin Cities, MN) special-collections libraries for exhibitable material.
I appreciate all input you can offer on both of these questions. Thanks in advance.