Enough Tupperware
by Leslie Lawrence '72



Sophisticated Snowflakes

Like many of us, calligrapher Jean Williams Murphy '37 often made paper snowflakes when decorating for the holidays. But the simple craft became an enchanting art form when she learned to replace abstract shapes with people, animals, and objects. Her cutouts, she discovered, could even tell stories. "One of my earliest cutouts features the nursery rhyme about the cow jumping over the moon," says Jean. "I wondered what other nursery rhymes could be illustrated in cutouts and found many to inspire me."

Jean developed the theme as an exhibit for a newly constructed library in her hometown of South Bend, Indiana. With paper, scissors, and painstaking concentration, she brought the rhymes to life in lacy shapes with six, eight, and even 12 "repeats." Under each cutout, she hand-lettered the corresponding rhyme.

The display was so admired that Jean was encouraged to publish her collection. In 1999, 500 copies of Nursery Rhymes in Cutouts and Calligraphy were published by Mossberg & Company. "This has been the fulfillment of a longtime dream and a legacy for my children and grandchildren," she says.

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