Some Calligraphers Earn Really Big Money


Did you see this?

With the White House closing its doors to public tour groups in order to save money for the sequester, it’s worth remembering some of the other costs the White House incurs annually.

Like the “Chief Calligrapher,” Patricia A. Blair, who has an annual salary of $96,725, and her two deputies, Debra S. Brown, who gets paid $85,953 per year, and Richard T. Muffler, who gets paid $94,372 every year.

In all, the White House appears to employ 3 calligraphers for a yearly total of $277,050.


Color me gobsmacked!



  1. I’m sorry, but that’s not a necessary function of government.


    • I agree, Beth. There are probably more than a few calligraphers who would volunteer their services just for the credit. Heck, I would if I had what it takes.


  2. How many hours do you think they actually put in?


    • Good question. They probably have to punch a clock in the basement and show up for a typical public sector day. It’s hard to imagine there is that much work to do. Bet they read and draw a lot. Poker might help while away the hours, too.


      • On the contrary, they’re involved in most of the social events at the White House. It’s a lot of job work, they’re frequently on tight schedules, and if they make mistakes it can trigger a diplomatic incident. I would hope that people who write with ink on paper would understand why the President doesn’t send an Evite to a state dinner.

        The WH calligraphers are highly respected in the lettering arts community (Pat and Rick are among the world’s dozen or so Master Penmen) and they do beautiful work; I wouldn’t characterize any of them as hacks.


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