11 December 2014

hoarding or just too much love of objects

Today's mailing from The New Yorker brought me a link to "Too Much Stuff: Are We Becoming a Nation of Hoarders?" by Joan Acocella. She, not surprisingly, talks about the Collyer Brothers and the Beales, Andy Warhol and the "Hoarders" reality TV show, as well as about her mother and the psychiatric studies of hoarding and, sigh, H.D. (hoarding disorder). I do have a lot of stuff in the family house, the house I currently occupy as the fifth generation. It was built by my great-grandfather and his father-in-law. There is stuff here from each and all of those generations. Mine is just the top layer of the archeology.

Still, I had an "I love my books" experience earlier this week. I have decided to go on the College Art Association-sponsored trip to the Havana Bienal in Cuba in May 2015. The agenda includes an event at the National Art Schools. I had bought the Lonely Planet Cuba guide a couple years ago when Moira and I were dreaming about a trip to Cuba. I knew I had bought the Princeton Architectural Press monograph on the Schools and it did, alas, take me a while to find it among the several thousand books I have. (There is a reason for classifying your books, at least informally by topic.) I found it and saw that I'd bought it at Storefront for Art and Architecture in November 2004. I checked my journal and saw that the Storefront exhibition was then so I checked the compilation of the Storefront newsletter and found the newsletter issue that came out concurrently with the show. Clearly, my collection development policy is working, for me.

Images of the National Art Schools, built in the early days of the Cuban Revolution where the country club had been. The Schools appeared on the World Monuments Fund Watch List in 2000 and 2002. They are now protected and being restored.
(photos selected rather randomly from an image search on "national art schools cuba")

Now if I stayed home and sorted things, perhaps I could work my way through some of my stuff and that of other members and generations of my family. But it's more fun to have my books where I can use them and read them. On the other hand, who knows what adventures and trouble I could get into if I just had one suitcase and the clothes on my back.

No comments: