I love lists – writing them, checking things off, buying fun notebooks in which to write them. My love for lists is somewhat embarrassing actually. What gives me comfort, though, is that some of my best friends are also list makers and they seem to get the same satisfaction from them that I do. And now I found this book – Lists: To-dos, Illustrated Inventories, Collections Thoughts and Other Artists’ Enumerations. A book dedicated to lists! The book by Liza Kirwin, the curator of manuscripts at the Archives of Amerian Art, came out in 2010, but it’s new to me. I’m just glad I found it. Rather than add it to my “books to buy list,” I decided to buy it.
After looking at some of the lists in Kirwin’s book, I realized that list making can be an artistic endeavor. Many people’s lists are far more engaging than the ones I make. As you might expect, lists made by artists are especially beautiful. Alexander Calder drew his list of the sculptures he wanted a friend to see in New York City. My favorite title for a list is by the artist Reginald Marsh who wrote: “Expenses in the Pursuit of Art” at the top of his page. I may begin titling my weekly list something like: “Things to Do to Keep All of the Balls in the Air.”
It’s time for me to write a grocery list – but maybe this week I’ll draw the pictures of what I want to get. Given my skill as an artist, I would probably end up with very different items than what I plan to buy!