The Keeper is a show of private collections at the New Museum in New York. Bill and I were not always sure if the museum wanted us to think of the collections as being art.
Bill particularly liked this collection of handmade models of Swiss regional architectural styles. They were made by Peter Fritz, an Austrian insurance clerk.
They have been preserved by Oliver Croy and Oliver Elser who found them in a junk shop. Little is known about the motivations of their creator.
Ydessa Hendeles's Partners (The Teddy Bear Project), 2002, stands out from the other displays because it was conceived and fully executed as an individual work of art -- a work consisting of an "installation of 3,000 family-album photographs [with teddy bears];
antique teddy bears with photographs of their owners and related ephemera;
mahogany display cases;
eight painted steel mezzanines; six painted steel spiral staircases; sixteen painted portable walls; hanging light fixtures; and custom wall lighting."
The first impression is of a charmingly old-fashioned museum
with an enormous collection and too little space -- a bit daunting.
But given some time and attention something magical happens.
The lack of direction gives one the freedom to explore and make one's own connections between the photographs.
The cabinets are more focused -- revealing connections between particular artifacts.
Bring as much time as you can spare. This work of art rewards careful attention.
For example I missed this particular framed piece, but Bill caught it -- the gold-plated record presented to Elvis Presley for his hit single "Teddy Bear". How charming is that?
Partners (The Teddy Bear Project) is on until until Saturday, October 2nd.