Bernarda Bryson Shahn’s appointment book in the show A Day in the Life: Artists’ Diaries from the Archives of American Art, is filled with events. None of the entries are simple reminders of upcoming appointments—nearly every word in the book is adorned, embellished, or festooned in some manner.
Although some artists I’ve spoken to recently do keep proper diaries, most have found other diary-like activities that document their joys, concerns, interests and goings-on. For many, posting updates on social media satisfies that need.
Joseph Cornell found beauty in everyday life and everyday objects. His diary entry from July 10, 1948 helps us understand how his incredible outlook enabled him to make the elegant artwork he constructed from bits and pieces of the prosaic.
One of my favorite images from A Day in the Life: Artists’ Diaries from the Archives of American Art, is Helen Torr Dove and Arthur Dove’s diary from 1936. Dove made colored spheres which may signify the phases of the moon, and also noted the temperature and barometric pressure the Doves were experiencing.
Guest blogger Katie Monroe examines this history of the bookplate, and finds inspiration in some original plates designed by artists.
In celebration of the Esther McCoy papers being available in the Archives of American Art’s Terra Foundation Center for Digital Collections, writer Susan Morgan looks at some notable photographs of the architectural historian and critic.
Graduate student Craig M. Corpora explains how he came to better know artist Jerome Caja through his papers at the Archives of American Art.
Leading Armory Show scholar Laurette E. McCarthy, returns with a guest blog uncovering some new evidence found in some old photographs.
Guest blogger Dr. Susanna Gold reflects on how Archives’ materials enriched collaborative exhibition and performance projects about the life and work of African American painter Charles Searles.