Here's what happened when 12 visual artists turned to the written word to express themselves.

not shaking the grass

Literature's Grumpiest Authors
Great Stage-to-Screen Musicals
The Post-Hipster Apartment

Artistic ephemera, from the journals of creative geniuses to postcards from famous authors, can be fascinating. After all, sometimes, the best way to learn about someone is to see the way they correspond to those closest to them. To that end, I've collected a few beautiful letters from great artists to their friends and family, each one as visually evocative as you'd expect.


From Vincent Van Gogh to his brother Theo, 1888. Courtesy Vincent van Gogh Foundation. [via archivevangogh]


From Pablo Picasso to his dear friend Gertrude Stein. [via a lovely being]


From Henri Matisse to Francoise Gilot, as seen in Matisse and Picasso: A Friendship in Art. [via a lovely being]


From Eugene Delacroix to Mr. Haro, his paint dealer. [via not shaking the grass]


From Frida Kahlo to a friend, with lipstick kisses for everyone. [via not shaking the grass]


From Rockwell Kent to Frances Kent, 1929. [via Archives of American Art]


From Alexander Calder to Agnes Rindge Claflin, an illustrated list of the sculptures of his he wants her to see in New York, c. 1942. [via Archives of American Art]


From Paul Gauguin to Vincent Van Gogh, 1889. [via Patrishka's Open Mouth]


From René Magritte to Paul Colinet. [via More Intelligent Life]


From Gustav Klimt to his life-long friend Emilie Flöge, 1897. Courtesy Leopold Museum. [via The Vienna Review]


From Georgia O'Keeffe to Alfred Stieglitz, 1929. [via Brain Pickings]


From Salvador Dalí to Tom Honeyman, 1932. [via BBC]

This post also appears on Flavorpill, an Atlantic partner site.