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Re: [BKARTS] MOMO/Franklin Furnace Collection

   So glad for your post! That's how my books got there too, back when, in
the early 80s when I was also selling (though not a lot) at Printed Matter.
I was thrilled when Franklin Furnace donated their collection to MOMA. My
worry has always been, "am I really still in there? maybe they've weaned me
out over time like the mass market books whose covers are torn off when past
their prime in a bookstore?" But I guess not!
(Later MOMA also bought a copy of a bookwork project I did with homeless
writers and artists while working at Tamarind Institute.)

   Yes, we may apologize, making the distinction, "well, it's only in the
Library Collection," which also holds true for the National Museum of Women
in the Arts (where works are selected by committee), but it's still a great
thing! A very great thing. And way better than having work suffocate in a
studio closet!  We want our works to find good homes.
   Recently at NMWA books were integrated into the "downstairs" show,
"Insomnia." It won't be long, I think, before that is not an unusual
occurrance everywhere.

   It's great that MOMA is acknowledging that artists books have been HOT
for decades now, taking over for Martha as it were. What gets exhibited when
the time comes will still be "the good ones"--no need, I think, to fear
about "dilution."

Janet (Maher)


on 3/2/04 4:37 PM, Jules Siegel at siegel@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx wrote:

> Douglas Sanders wrote:
>> I can't speak for their policy specifically, but maybe there is a
>> distinction between MOMA's library and MOMA's collections. Maybe their
>> library is just that- defined in a strict sense of a general grouping of
>> books available to look through and study.
> I have three books in the Artists Books Collection that got there when
> Martha Wilson sold the Franklin Furnace Archive to MoMA. Martha's
> collection was more a way of defining a field rather than curating a
> collection. I didn't know I was a book artist until she told me I was
> one. I thought I was entirely alone in the world making my own books
> because I was so frustrated with the mainstream publishing world.
> Folks are mightily impressed when I tell them about my presence in MoMA.
> It is a little like saying, "Three of his books are in the permanent
> collection of the Library of Congress." They don't know that any book
> can get in. What do I care if it's diluted? I am a simpleton happy that
> I have achieved any recognition at all for what I do. If I were younger
> and single, I'd be using this to get score with the ladies.
> When I look at what is considered art by curators, and what has been
> rejected by them over the years, I tend to prefer Martha's method. It's
> a lot more like the historical process. Art survives because of people's
> decisions about what is worth holding on to, not curators' decisions.
> The definitions and the valuations come later.

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