Sunday, November 21, 2010

Library Sale Treasure

As usual, I chatted with Richard Edwardes at the Shreve Memorial Library Sale. We both were intent on finding books, so it was just a quick chat and laugh re finding ourselves once again among the bookshelves. I found lots of paperbacks to read on airplanes and ships, some jazz CDs, a few interesting history tomes, a book of 3 Sophocles plays for grandson Wyn, and surprisingly, this time, lots of art books that had been discarded by the library system.
A discard for the system, but a treasure for me, is "The New Deal for Artists" by Richard D. McKinzie. The content covers the history, the performance, of the Federal arts programs during the Great Depression. There are photos of the participating artists and the marvelous work they did. Imagine...if the government had retained all that artwork, instead of selling it in bales as rag material, we would probably be able to erase the deficit with the sale of those works. I remember Mark Rothko talking about standing in line for his federal paycheck; that he didn't feel like a charity case because the entire NYC art community was there with him... all those artists whose names are now in art history books, whose works now grace museum walls, were on that line with him. In this McKinzie book, I found photos of two of my favorite teachers, Burgoyne Diller (I had a "crush" on this very handsome teacher), and Jose Rivera.

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