library at untitled
Consisting of over 2,000 publications, the Library housed at Untitled contains a collection of books, catalogs, and periodicals covering subjects such as art, crafts, history, architecture, design, gardening, and culinary arts. This Library is made available to the public for in-house use only – the books may not be removed. Enjoy a cup of coffee and relax while you survey the collection.
Archiving Laura’s Books: for the love of art and literature
"To archive is not only to tidy up, but to shore up time and acknowledge history. When I first got a glimpse of Laura’s art collection ten years ago, it made my heart leap and my librarian fingers itch. I wanted to know the scope and depth of those beautifully shelved volumes. By the sweetest serendipity, I’ve now spent much time this year archiving her rich and varied collections. Classical, European, Modern, Post Modern, Contemporary. Folk art, sculpture, photography. Paper, color, design, craft. Novels, Biographies, Letters. Exhibition catalogues themselves create a history of Laura’s always open, curious mind.
No, I say to friends, it is not boring or tedious. Every day I turn pages of color, line and texture. I’ve learned the names/periods of new artists. I’ve encountered conceptual worlds previously unfamiliar.
Each book in Laura’s collection has a story. The primary topic can be easily gleaned from the title and assigned subject headings. These hundreds of books gathered over her years of engagement with art also hint of personal stories. Some are hidden behind a beautiful inscription or an enclosed note; some have been openly related to me as I work to enter the data dispassionately into the system. Laura has shared her encounters with artists, as well as childhood reminiscences of books her parents loved to read. Unlike a public library which is honed and built by a collection development policy, the private library is a wild and organic thing reflecting the spirit of its owner. It is as unique as any work of art.
I’ve had the privilege of handling these volumes, the heft of Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg, the fragility of Japanese ephemera, the playful pop-ups, and luscious cookbooks. This is a collection not to be tamed but lightly placed into a digital box called a catalogue. What happened to that book on Kiki Smith? Where is the R.C. Gorman catalog? Ah ha. Now we know.
I am primarily a poet. I like discovering good lines, enjambment, synchronicity, litany, synesthesia. I am also a librarian who likes to archive, catalogue, shelve, list, sort, delineate. In both worlds the hidden moves toward clarity and meaning. It feels like distinct sides of the brain but certain collaborative worknarrows that gap.
When poet-librarian-reader (me) met artist/collector/creator (Laura)
As a poet I like hidden things; librarians like clarity. What I mean is the poet-librarian meeting up with the artist-collector sparks a lovely creativity."