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New! A Book About Artistic Lists

By Meg Colbert, Visual Resources Assistant/Creative Workshop Registrar

New to the Charlotte Whitney Allen Library: Lists: to-dos, illustrated inventories, collected thoughts, and other artists’ enumerations from the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art. Beautifully arranged by Liza Kirwin, this book presents the lists of many accomplished artists of the last few centuries, including Alexander Calder, Pablo Picasso and Grant Wood. While these artifacts may be scribbled on scraps of paper and quickly sketched, all give insight into the daily thoughts and lives of these well known list makers. My own list of a few highlights:

Charlotte Whitney Allen Library at MAG

-a voucher from Gordon Newton to curator Samuel Wagstaff for rent, materials, food and “bad habits.”

-Adolf Konrad’s packing list consisting of drawings of the items he needed to pack for a trip done in watercolor including an image of himself in his underwear.

– postcards written by Ad Reinhardt to an acquaintance, Katherine Scrivener, with lists of “undesirable” and “ more adequate” words about art.

Hans Hofmann’s theories of teaching including a quote from Leonardo DaVinci; “I feel sorry for the pupil who does not surpass his master.”  Hofmann’s own pupils included Jackson Pollock, Lee Krasner and Mark Rothko.

Follow the link to check availability:


Comment from Tmcards
Time: March 10, 2011, 2:45 am

I think it seems to be a very good book which presents the lists of great artists of the last few centuries like Alexander Calder, Pablo Picasso and Grant Wood.

Comment from Rachael
Time: April 26, 2011, 12:36 pm

Oooh! I want to read this…artists always have a million things to do and a plethora of creative ways to remind themselves to do them 🙂 Thanks for the heads up…

Comment from ginahare
Time: July 16, 2012, 11:15 am

This book is one of the best books ever! The author knows how to put feelings on paper.

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