November 02, 2006

Too Much In Storage...













When we bought this house five years ago the basement was unfinished with as much floorspace as the three bedroom house above it. I was able to design my studio space as well as plenty of storage for accumulated works of mine and others... paintings that I no longer had the space to hang, or preferred not to. Styles and tastes change but the quality and value is still there... and as important, the memories that wrap each piece. If it's work by another artist, chances are it was someone I knew or admired, or a piece I felt I just had to have. If it's my work, it probably marks some important (to me) mark or change in my own career and I didn't put it out to sell. What to do with this accumulation?

The storage room reserved for all this long, narrow and without much ventilation. We keep a humidifier going and little moisture absorbing containers around, but I'm afraid the work is going to suffer if left there much longer. (The room is impossible to properly photograph, the above is only part of it.) I've started pulling work out a little at a time, intending to reframe or repackage for storage as needed. The lake house will provide wall space for some of the paintings but as I said, my tastes have changed, ie: I prefer a few larger works to lots of small ones, and canvas to works under glass. Will be interesting to see how this plays out, but don't hold your breath... I've been putting this off for some time and am not terribly motivated to do a thorough job of it even now.

At the bottom of this is the problem of sorting through a large, mixed value, collection before someone else has to dispose of it in one way or another. I've had to disperse belongings in the small apartments of our two mothers within the last 8 years and difficult as it was, it was nothing like I will leave behind for my own kids to deal with. I, at least, need to cull out stuff that has no real value... but that's hard to do when I can assign precious value to any small memory.

3 comments:

Martha Marshall said...

It's hard to let go, I know. And I'm pretty ruthless as it is. I tend to avoid looking around at what could go and what must stay.

Annette said...

You might be surprised at what small memory your children attach to a piece -- yours or others. I was when I recently asked my daughters to make a list of the pieces they would eventually want! If you have pieces you truly want to discard, have an art show day or week and let the family -- even the little kids -- select one or two to take home. They can discard them later -- or not!
AAB

KJ said...

That's a very good idea, Annette... I'll get the work cleaned up and arranged so they can pick and choose, or not, whenever they are here. At one point in time I did ask them to put their name on the back of any piece of furniture or whatever if they would like to eventually have it... the youngest son said he would scrawl his name on the driveway... and that's the way it goes... KJ