Lists: To-dos, Illustrated Inventories, Collected Thoughts, and Other Artists’ Enumerations from the Collections of the Smithsonian Museum by Liza Kirwin is a wonderful peek into the notes, doodles and letters from artists, writers and poets. There are typed notes and handwritten notes, some legible and some unintelligible.
Ah, Franz Kline’s grocery list is as unremarkable as mine but his liquor bill is extravagant!
I love this list of Andrew Wyeth’s paintings written by his father N.C. Wyeth. The penmanship is beautiful.
This is a close up of the Wyeth list. Look at the grey ink and stub italic!
Kinetic sculpture artist Alexander Calder drew these lovely sketches in a letter. Clearly also fountain pen. It looks like he added water to tone some of the areas. So interesting!
This is a close-up of Calder’s address book in a warm sepia ink.
This is probably my absolute favorite page. It’s Adolf Konrad’s packing list, beautifully illustrated in gouache. I love the addition, on the next page, of Alfred in his skivvies like a paper doll self-portrait.
Needless to say, I recommend picking up this book if you get a chance. Its printed on a smooth, uncoated stock and bound with a softcover that feels a bit like a notebook rather than a fancy book. I thumb through it often and enjoy the detailed information on the accompanying pages. Its interesting to see how sloppy and how tidy some of the most loved artists and writers actually were. So telling!