Typeface Previous Broadcasts
KQED Plus: Mon, May 30, 2011 -- 11:00 PM
In rural Wisconsin, a lone employee waits in a cavernous old museum for visitors to come. Only a few individuals straggle in every few days until, one Friday a month, the museum bustles with life. Machines hum, presses print and artists buzz about. On that weekend, the quiet of Two Rivers recedes as carloads of artisans begin to arrive from across the Midwest. The place comes alive as printmaking workshops led by, and filled with, some of the nation's top design talent as they descend on the sleepy enclave.
In a time when people can carry computers in their pockets and watch TV while walking down the street, this Emmy-nominated documentary explores the twilight - and re-emergence - of one analog craft in a digital age. The Hamilton Wood Type Museum personifies cultural preservation, the potential for rural rebirth and the lineage of American graphic design. At Hamilton, international artisans meet retired craftsmen and together navigate the convergence of modern design and traditional technique.
However, the museum's days appear numbered. Through the efforts of one entrepreneur, Two Rivers struggles to re- invent itself as a small-museum mecca amid tell-tale signs of economic decay: "for rent" signs hang in Main Street shop windows, the unemployment rate rises steadily and factories continue to abandon the area in favor of cheaper locales. Does the future of the industry lie in the past? What responsibility do artists and historians bear in preserving a dying craft? How can rural towns survive in a shifting industrial marketplace where big-box retailers reign? This program contemplates these questions and more as it explores the fascinating junction of the historical and contemporary, the urban and the rural.
- KQED Plus: Tue, May 31, 2011 -- 5:00 AM