I worked at the Denver Art Museum for a while, and during my time there I encountered and learned many things that hover in the realm of disbelief. Details of lives, stories so subtle and accidental, yet managed to change my perspective by making life ever so slightly more poetic.
One day I was invited to take a look at a newly arrived set of prints by a Japanese printer named Sadao Watanabe. He had a very distinctive style, depicting primarily Christian scenes in graphic outlines and blocks of color. The prints arrived from the home of a recently deceased Watanabe collector in Boulder. In addition to the prints, the collector donated an entire personal library of art books. The curatorial assistant told me a story about the book collection.
Every book held within it a trove of letters and notes and tickets, housing details of the time the book was read, or new, or available as a container. Can you imagine that? An entire collection of art books, each one with its own assortment of objects and memories. It blows my mind. Of course, I immediately adopted the same practice. How could I not? There is something beautiful and obvious about giving books that purpose. Beyond changing lives, beyond simply objects.