A tribute to font designer Joseph Churchward (1933-2013)

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Joseph Churchward standing before portraits of his family, 2008 (photo: Norman Heke).

We would like to pay a special tribute to Samoan artist Joseph Churchward who sadly passed away last weekend. We were privileged to have worked with Joseph in 2008, when my colleague Sean Mallon (Senior Curator Pacific Cultures) and I curated the exhibition Letter Man: Joseph Churchward’s world of type (2008). I recall well Joseph’s sense of humour and his love of family history.

Joseph’s work ethic and commitment to his art practice was inspiring, and a small collection of his work housed in Te Papa’s Pacific Cultures Collection is a testament to his lifelong passion of designing fonts. To view Joseph’s collection, please visit Te Papa’s Collections Online links below

Joseph Churchward’s collection at Te Papa

Queen’s service medal for font designer Joseph Churchward

Joseph’s work in print and digital media is a lasting legacy. Our sincere condolences to the Churchward family at this time.

Ia manuia lau malaga Joseph. May you rest in peace.

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