Scott Boyd, “Endangered Alphabets Obelisk” (2020), carved ash wood, 120 x 12 x 12 inches, installation view.

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BRATTLEBORO — On Wednesday, July 28, at 7:30 p.m., artist Scott Boyd joins Endangered Alphabets Project founder and author Tim Brookes for a free Zoom conversation presented by the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center.

Boyd will speak about “Endangered Alphabets,” a 10-foot-high obelisk he created, on which he inscribed characters, symbols and scripts drawn from the writing systems of endangered languages. The obelisk is on view outside the museum through November. Boyd and Brookes will also discuss the Endangered Alphabets Project and its influence on Boyd’s work. To register, visit

Boyd initially became interested in endangered alphabets when he attended a presentation by Brookes about the Endangered Alphabets Project, a Vermont nonprofit that supports endangered, minority and indigenous cultures throughout the world by preserving their writing systems. Brookes helped Boyd to research the endangered alphabets on the obelisk, which include Nüshu, Tifinagh, the Samaritan alphabet and the Cherokee syllabary, among others.

“Due to shifting tides in politics, migration, armed conflict, and developmental pressures, many writing systems and languages are on the verge of disappearing,” Boyd said. “Some are spoken or written by as few as five people.”

Museum chief curator Mara Williams notes that the obelisk dates back to the early Egyptians and has been used across cultures as a memorial object. “In pairing this ancient form with near-extinct languages, Scott Boyd is doing more than memorializing; he is calling attention to the fragility of cultural diversity,” Williams said.

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Boyd received his B.A. from Reed College and his M.F.A. in sculpture from the Yale University School of Art. He studied sculpture at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris, France, and marble carving in Tinos, Greece, and in Pietrasanta, Italy. He lives in Stowe.

Brookes is the founder and president of the Endangered Alphabets Project, an organization dedicated to playing an active role in preserving endangered cultures by using their writing systems to create artwork and educational materials. The Endangered Alphabets Project seeks to call attention to this human rights issue and help to preserve indigenous languages around the world. Brookes is the author of “Endangered Alphabets: An Essay on Writing.” His work has been covered in National Geographic, The Atlantic, and The New York Times.

Founded in 1972, the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center presents rotating exhibits of contemporary art, complemented by lectures, artist talks, film screenings, and other public programs. The museum is open Wednesday-Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is on a “pay-as-you-wish” basis. The museum, in historic Union Station in downtown Brattleboro at the intersection of Main Street and routes 119 and 142, is wheelchair accessible. For more information, call 802-257-0124 or visit

The museum is supported in part by the Vermont Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support is provided by Allen Bros. Oil, Brattleboro Savings & Loan, C&S Wholesale Grocers, the Four Columns Inn, Sam’s Outdoor Outfitters and Whetstone Station Restaurant & Brewery.