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N.B. museum exhibition aims to revive dwindling art of cursive writing
In our text-obsessed world, the art of handwriting is starting to fade and that's the focus of an exhibition at the New Brunswick museum.
It's more than just putting pen to paper, it's about making a connection with our past.
With a careful hand, Felicity Osepchook writes the alphabet in swooping cursive on the chalkboard.
“Thinking back to when I first learned, it was about Grade 2,” said Osepchook. “And it was very important and you were graded on how good your cursive writing was, too.”
But these days, cursive is becoming something of a dying art with texting and typing taking over in our tech-obsessed world.
That's the focus of an ongoing exhibition at the New Brunswick museum.
“I believe the museum's role in current society it's really to ask questions to the society,” said Dominique Gelinas, the New Brunswick Museum’s head of exhibitions. “It's to bring the discussion, to show, we have some answers of course, because we're very concerned about the handwriting but is it still relevant to the society?”
The exhibition explores the history of cursive writing and includes a makeshift classroom where visitors of all ages can practice their cursive inside of a workbook or on the chalkboard.
“So that's a new experience for young kids,” said Gelinas. “With the white board the chalkboard is not anymore in the classroom, so now they can feel what is a chalkboard feeling.”
For those people who can't write cursive, there's a good chance that they aren't able to read it either, which poses a problem when dealing with old documents.
And being able to decode cursive isn't just a skill for museum staff and historians, it can be a way for everyday people to connect with their own history and heritage.
“Say you were doing your family history for example, and you wanted to know where their ancestors were from, maybe there's some documents, maybe there's correspondence you can look at,” Osepchook said. “If you can't read cursive, you're not going to be able to read those documents they left behind.”
The exhibition at the New Brunswick Museum is designed to get people thinking about this cursive conundrum.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Laura Lyall.