SPECK: A Curious Collection of Uncommon Things


Author: Peter Buchanan-Smith, Meaghan Kombol.
Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press
Year: 2001
ISBN: 9781568982977

Hardcover, 224 pages, English, 20 cm x 22,2 cm
Condition: good copy, spine slightly discolored.
In Speck, Peter Buchanan-Smith, Art Director of the New York Times Op-Ed page, asks artists, designers, lawyers, writers, collectors, and photographers to explore our obsessions with the small objects that loom large in our everyday lives. To wit: Maira Kalman empties people's pocketbooks; Nicholas Blechman and Jesse Gordon trace the history of the oldest piece of dust; David Horrowitz catalogs manhole covers; and Peter Buchanan-Smith unearths a 1966 high school yearbook and transcribes the inscriptions ("To a real sweet and cute guy with a great personality. Remember English III"). Speck also shows how "ordinary" people can fascinate as much as "ordinary" objects: an interview with shoe shiner Harry Kitt, Manhattan's last practitioner of the dry-shine, photographs taken by a blind man on a sight-seeing tour, and a barber's extensive collection of earth, water, and air from around the world ask us to re-think our assumptions about the commonplace.

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