November 13, 2012 1:08 pm
Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum, featured in our 2009 documentary Typeface, is facing eviction from the building that bears its name, and desperately needs help to save its priceless, historic collection of wood type - the world's largest.
In a plea for support on the Hamilton website, the museum's director Bill Moran states:
"Hamilton is being forced to move, perhaps as soon as mid-February. The owners of our building have given us 90 days to pack and vacate the building. We have little or no money to do this and no place to move to. We are attempting to raise $250,000 in short order to get 30,000 sq. feet of printing history packed up and ready for a new home, wherever that may be. PLEASE consider a donation today."
Museum leadership is committed to staying in Two Rivers and they are quickly working to secure their new site. Donors already have pledged more than $65,000. Contributions may be made online at http://www.woodtype.org/support. You can also read more via Printmag.com
Typeface director Justine Nagan responds to the news:
"I'm greatly saddened to hear of the Hamilton WoodType museum's forced move. While there are definite challenges involved in running a working museum in a historical space (many captured in our film), the benefits to the industry, the town and the museum itself of being housed in the original woodtype factory are immense! Additionally, the museum has become a bright star in Two Rivers- bringing artists, enthusiasts and general tourists and their dollars to the community. Their fan base is huge! I'm surprised that Thermo Fisher isn't being more thoughtful and supportive of the museum during the company's transition out of town."
At Kartemquin we will do our best to help the museum preserve its collection. We plan to take part in a Chicago fundraiser for the museum on December 15th, to be held at Columbia College Chicago's Center for Book and Paper Arts (details coming soon), and will be sending a crew up to Two Rivers, Wisconsin to film more material as this troubling story unfolds.
Typeface documented the museum's struggles in the digital era up to the stewardship of Jim and Bill Moran, through whom it had seen a resurgence among designers and artists eager to engage with traditional printing methods. Winner of the Best Documentary award at the Flyway Film Festival, and shown on PBS in many states across the US and on Sky Arts in the UK, the film is available on DVD, iTunes and Amazon VOD.
Here is Bill and Jim, in happier times, discussing the impact of the film and some of what is at stake to be lost if the collection is not adequately preserved:
And the first 90 seconds of the film: