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Typewriters in Art

There are two kinds of typewriter art: works of art created on the typewriter and works of art in which the typewriter as a machine plays a role: Typewriters in Art. In both cases, there's art, and there's art.
(Click the thumbnails to see the series.)


Typewriters in art

Series 1. Royal Road Test. In 1966 Edward Ruscha set out with his friends Mason Williams and Patrick Blackwell to throw a Royal typewriter from the window of a moving car at 90 mph. A year later, the project resulted in a now much acclaimed artists' book: Royal Road Test. *

Series 2. Charles Joffe (1920) is best know as a painter and builder of striking wooden creations in bright colors. Several times he asked himself the question what would have happened if Ben Franklin or William Shakespeare had owned typewriters. **

Series 3. In 2001, Kevin O'Callaghan and a group of students from the New Yorks School of Visual Arts produced a series of art works using obsolete typewriters to create "The next best... ding!"***

Series 4. Among the best known examples of typewriters as art are Claes Oldenburg's soft typewriter and the typewriter eraser he made with Coosje van Bruggen. The soft machine is in a private collection, the eraser is in the National Gallery of Art in Washington.

Series 5. American artist Sheryl Oring created Writer's Block, an installation of 600 caged typewriters in memory of the book burnings in nazi Germany. The installation travelled from Berlin to other European capitals and on to the US. More about this project:

Series 6. Dutch artist André Pelgrim (1941) is inspired by the design, the mechanisms and the purpose of manual typewriters. Over the years he has produced woodcuts, linoleum cuts and paintings.


*Courtesy: Robert collection
**Available through The Electric Gallery (
***Photo's: Peter Weil