The Lost Art of Letter Writing

The envelope for the letter below. Postmarked July 25, 1935.
Dated July 24, 1935. My favorite line (at the bottom) reads “It is a beautiful sight from our decks, looking at the city, ablaze with lights.”

There is nothing like opening the mailbox, sorting through the bills and the junk mail and discovering a letter – handwritten envelope, a return address of someone close, a cool stamp… I have been known to tear an envelope open before I even got back into the house because I was so excited to read what was inside. I have stood in my driveway reading words that someone took the time to write to me, and when I finally did make my way back into the house I would read the words all over again. To me letter writing is a form of art. Letters and words and sentences and paragraphs come together to create an intimate exchange of thoughts and ideas between two people. And there is nothing like the simple act of putting pen to paper. In this age of email, texts and social media, it seems letter writing has gotten lost. I am guilty of it myself – I have friends who are well overdue for a “real” letter from me… It is so easy to send a quick message on the computer or from a phone. But I have to wonder if these quick messages convey everything that a handwritten letter could…

Dated April 20, 1916.

In my art I often use vintage letters and have included a couple of my favorites. I am always reluctant to use the original letter – it seems sacred to me somehow. And when I am out looking for treasures at a flea market or sale, I will more than likely purchase any old letters I come across. They just seem too special to leave behind.

I think I’ll start writing letters again. I have always loved the process, and I know it will make me happy to do it. And walking out to the mailbox to find more than bills and junk mail might make the recipient happy as well…

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5 thoughts on “The Lost Art of Letter Writing

  1. What a sweet post! I don’t own any vintage letters yet myself, but would love to if I do come across them at the flea markets. I also adore letters that have been written in cursive writing—there’s something particularly romantic about that, it seems to me.

    1. Yes, there is definitely something romantic about handwritten letters. And there is a mystery about them as well – they make me wonder about the person who wrote the letter and the recipient of the letter… Thanks for your thoughts… And thanks so much for following my blog because I, in turn, found yours and am really enjoying your writing and your photos!

  2. Lovely post, thanks for sharing!
    I agree, isn’t it sad we don’t write letters anymore…. It is definitely a kind of art, so beautiful. I hardly recognize my own handwriting anymore… And when I hold a pencil and write something for “too long” my fingers almost cramp…
    But Grand Hotel still stands, beautiful and proud! 🙂
    Greetings from a (today)rainy Stockholm!
    Marie

    1. Hi Marie,
      Thank you so much for your comments! I know exactly what you mean about fingers cramping after writing too long – it happens to me as well!
      And so nice to know the Grand Hotel has stood the test of time. I’m sure it is an incredible sight in person – I have only seen photos, but it looks especially beautiful at night…
      Hope you have sunshine soon!
      Kerry

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