The purpose of the Art & Memory Collection is to show how beautiful and varied contemporary lettering and memorial art can be, with the emphasis on fine lettercarving – a much neglected art form.
One in three of us will commission some kind of memorial during our lifetime – works that will remain visible in public places for years to come; yet until now there has been no permanent national collection where people can seek inspiration from a wide range of commemorative works by contemporary artists trained in traditional lettering skills. The Art & Memory Collection is designed to meet this need.
No machine can match the subtlety of the trained hand and eye in varying the width and depth of the cut, and in making the minute adjustments in spacing which bring an inscription to life. The Art & Memory Collection will benefit all sections of the public, enabling people to learn more about the lettering arts, and discover the infinite possibilities for creating memorials of lasting beauty. Please visit www.memorialsbyartists.co.uk to learn about commissioning a unique, finely designed memorial.
The work of The Lettering and Commemorative Arts Trust
Mortality, death and bereavement are subjects that many people find difficult and shy away from, even though these are experiences we all face and have to deal with. The Lettering and Commemorative Arts Trust is the only national charity in the UK with the specific brief of fostering contemporary memorial art. It came into being at a time of neglect of the memorial arts and crafts and the skills that underpin them. Practical, high quality training in the Eric Gill (1882-1940) tradition declined markedly in the post-war era and lettering was dropped as a subject in most art schools. Opportunities for serious grounding in the craft were therefore rare.
Since 1998 the Charity has directed its energies to addressing gaps in letter-carving training, running an apprenticeship scheme and letter-carving workshops throughout the UK, and engaging with trade monumental masons and others to influence standards and raise public awareness and appreciation of memorial arts relevant to the 21st century.
The Charity has also increased employment for the profession through its wholly owned trading company, Memorials by Artists, which provides advice and assistance on commissioning memorials, particularly the recommending of appropriate artists and dealing with technical matters such as the legal requirements for churchyards and cemeteries. Since 1990 over 3,000 memorials have been commissioned through Memorials by Artists and far more people than that advised and helped.