Sunday, March 18, 2007


Earlier this week I attended a party in honor of my father’s archive being acquired by Stanford University. It is a true cause for celebration – the knowledge that one’s work has a long-term home where it will be catalogued and cared for into posterity. For over twenty years, Charles Hobson has dedicated himself to making extraordinary handmade artist’s books like the one pictured here called Dancing with Amelia about the relationship between Amelia Earhart and her husband George Palmer Putnam. I am so glad to see my father get this recognition, and although it is usually the parent who says this about the child, I, the child, am proud of him. He carries such talent, such passion and drive, and has been such a generous source of support and creative inspiration.

What also captivated my mind that night was the notion of the long view as an artist. Usually, I see about one year out in terms of planning for shows and new work. But in telescoping out to the largesse of my life, I begin to question what are the long term goals and dreams for my art? Will I ever be lucky enough to have an institution collect my archive? Only time will tell. But for now I can dream…

On the note of archiving, the current issue of Art on Paper has some nice articles on photography, including one on the Getty’s growing archive of photographic materials. As digital technology takes over, the need for examples of older photographic media grows - especially for dating and authenticating earlier photographic work. The historian in me is so appreciative of the human need to collect and remember the past, and I am grateful for the institutions that do so.

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