Membership Benefits


Man writingIAMPETH is an international, non-profit association over 1100 members strong dedicated to practicing and preserving the beautiful arts of calligraphy, engrossing and fine penmanship.  Founded in 1949, it is the oldest and largest penmanship organization in the United States.

IAMPETH is a leader in calligraphic education, and dedicated to helping novices and experts alike improve their lettering and artistic skills. Our Archive Collection of the works of past masters is the richest and most comprehensive collection of American Penmanship in the world.

IAMPETH's goals are to  1. Practice and teach the beautiful arts of calligraphy, engrossing and fine penmanship  2. Restore the teaching of penmanship in schools  3. Improve the handwriting of young people, and  4. Preserve and share with others the rich tradition of American Penmanship.

IAMPETH embraces the full range of lettering arts - from historic illumination and gilding, to text lettering, engrossing, broad-edge and pointed pen scripts.

Our Annual Conference, held every year since 1949, is a wonderful week of learning the pen arts taught by some of the best penmen and calligraphic artists in the country.

Membership includes access to the website's Members Only area, membership in the IAMPETH Yahoo Discussion Group, early invitation to attend our Annual Conference, and the quarterly Penman's Journal. This remarkable publication is the oldest pen art publication in the world. Articles covering such diverse topics as bird flourishing, text lettering, Engrosser's script (Copperplate) instruction, penmanship history and much more have appeared in the IAMPETH Penman's Journal.


Founding Members: Eileen Richardson, Fred Richardson, J.J. Bailey, H.J. Walter, Charles Begin, Rene Guillard, Enrique Benguria

In 1949, while building a cottage on an island in Lake Nipissing, Ontario, Eileen and Fred Richardson had a vision in which penmen could get together and share techniques and ideas not just about doing fine penmanship, but teaching the art as well. The following year a group of master penmen met at Lake Nipissing and formed a group called the International Association of Master Penmen and Teachers of Handwriting (IAMPTH). In 1973, the letter 'E' was added to recognize the contributions of engrossers and remains as we know it today, IAMPETH.

Those present with the Richardsons were their mentor, J.J. Bailey of Chicago, H.J. Walter of Chicago, Charles Begin of Quebec City, Rene Guillard of Evanston, IL, and Enrique Benguria of Cuba. This group's main interest was to find a way to restore penmanship in schools and improve the handwriting of young people.

Since that first gathering on Lake Nipissing, the organization has met every year, attracting both young and old alike who share the love of calligraphy, engrossing and beautiful penmanship.

Here are some historical photos from some of the early IAMPETH conventions. Pictured are past President P.Z. Bloser (Zaner-Bloser), E.A. Lupfer of The Zanerian College, Louis DiGesare and Mrs. F.B. Courtney (wife of the late pen wizard).