Monday, October 01, 2012

Als Ik Kan

Reading through an old issues of The Craftsman, Gustav Stickley's Arts & Crafts journal, I became aware of the graphic left, which became the motto for the movement and the corporate logo for Stickley's furniture. It is the visual correlate of ALS IK KAN, an old Flemish phrase, translated into "If I Can" or "As Best I Can." The concept was also disseminated by William Morris, and Stickley inserted in deep black letters within the instrument. In the Red House, Morris used the French "Si Je Puis." ALS IK KAN was also Jan van Eyck's personal motto. AIC IXH XAN was carved on the frame of his Man with Turban (1433).

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Kostis Kourelis

Philadelphia, PA, United States