Charles Ernest Pont, a painter, printmaker, magazine/book illustrator, educator, author, and clergyman, was born in France in 1898, and raised in New York City. He lived in and around New York all his life, and died in Wilton, Connecticut, in 1971. Pont met the type designer and printer Frederic W. Goudy in the mid-1930s and they began to work together on a biography of Goudy. By the mid-1960s Pont had completed a 400-page manuscript which was not published during his lifetime.
Frederic W. Goudy, American printer, typographer, and type designer, was born in Bloomington, Illinois, in 1865. He was a partner in small presses in the 1890s and then, with his wife Bertha (1869-1935) the proprietor of the Village Press, which was located in Park Ridge, Illinois (1903-1904), Hingham, Massachusetts (1904-1906), New York City (1906-1923), and Marlboro-on-Hudson, New York (1923-1939); the press was twice destroyed by fire (1908 and 1939) as was his Village Letter Foundery (1939). Goudy designed over one hundred typefaces, taught at the Art Students' League in New York (1915-1924), and served as art director to the Lanston Monotype Machine Company (1920-1939). He died at his home, Deepdene, in Marlboro-on-Hudson, in 1947.
Eva Ellen Dean, American painter, illustrator, poet, and educator, was born in Storm Lake, Iowa, in 1871. She attended Buchtel College, the Chicago School of Illustration, and the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts, and taught art in Sioux City. In 1905 and she moved to New York where she studied at the Art Students League while teaching art classes in the evening and writing and illustrating a book for children; concurrently several of her poems and illustrations were published in the New York Times and Tribune newspapers. Dean returned to Iowa in the late teens, and in 1924 settled in Los Angeles, where she became active in local artists groups, and showed her work in exhibitions. She died in Los Angeles in 1954.
The papers consist of Charles Pont's correspondence and additional material he collected for his biography of Frederic W. Goudy. Correspondence includes letters from Goudy to Pont and to the painter Eva Dean (1871-1954), and letters between Pont and many of Goudy's relatives, friends, neighbors, and his colleagues in the fields of printing, publishing, and type design. Pont had advertised in graphic arts publications, asking for 'unusual items to contribute' to his project; his respondents sent in letters, reminiscences, and other material, some of which Pont transcribed and returned. Research files hold manuscript notes, photographs, type specimens, proof prints, transcriptions, clipped articles on Goudy's life and work, and a variety of printed ephemera. Because Pont was closely working with Goudy on the project, the papers also hold some of Goudy's original drawings for typefaces and writings that include his manuscript introduction to the biography. Also present are random pages of Pont's draft manuscript, miscellaneous notes, a dummy of the proposed book, and Pont's wood-engraved profile portrait of Goudy, with the original pencil drawing.
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