Friday, February 6, 2009


Regular readers here know that I am a candidate for an MA in the History of Decorative Arts. One of the frequent debates in the decorative arts is one of connoisseurship versus material culture. I lean toward the side of material culture, as the stories which objects tell about the people who made and interacted with them are what fascinate me most. In that vein, this new book, Important Artifacts and Personal Property from the Collection of Lenore Doolan and Harold Morris, Including Books, Street Fashion, and Jewelry by Leanne Shapton sounds just up my alley.
"Her book tells the story of a hopeful young New York couple and their four-year relationship almost completely through their things, many of which end up unceremoniously, and improbably, under the gavel: books, pajamas, bedside lamps, a stuffed squirrel, an astrakhan coat, the winning half of a wishbone and lots of notes, inscriptions and e-mail messages that start out giddy and become slowly more complicated, angry and sorrowful."

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