Remember playing “one of these things is not like the other”? That could be a motto for JCBA generally, but yesterday there was so much going on at the Collection that it was especially apt.
First of all, Jeannie Jaffe, Arthur’s artist daughter, was there, back from a residency in China, doing some planning with John to showcase some of the objects and ideas she brought back.
Then John got busy preparing for Real Mail Friday, embellishing the offerings (and decorating the studio) so that there would be material to celebrate and acknowledge both Valentine’s Day and the Chinese New Year – lots of hearts, red-and-gold ornaments with flying tassels, new possibilities for expression and attention. Whereas I made the tacky suggestion of attaching the ornaments to the announcement board with Scotch Tape, John (with Eric’s help) made sure they were artfully suspended from the ceiling.
And while all that was going on, Eric Bush, the soul of patience and generosity, was preparing for a visit from two little girls with their mother and grandmother, busy lining up about twenty pop-up books for them to look at and actually to handle.
First he showed them a one-of-a-kind Paul Johnson pop-up named “Is This House In A Tree I Saw So Clearly” and examples of tunnel books; then he perched them on the collection’s high stools in front of the books he had chosen and bade them have at it. It wasn’t the usual Wednesday tour, but I think those pigtailed little girls will never forget it.
I had a chance once again to talk with the adults about the exhibit in the vitrines in the Collection’s lobby Scale Proportion Play exhibit. Among the riches, there’s a tiny exquisite tunnel book portraying Arthur’s house made by the aforementioned Peter Johnson when he was a guest there; and there’s an amazingly detailed hand-done calligraphy book celebrating the Year of the Rat. (If you were wondering, on February 5th we celebrate the Year of the Pig.)
On the one had I wish the exhibit would go on forever because it is so beautiful and filled with fascinating information; on the other, I can’t wait to see what’s going to go in those cases next!