Monday, June 14, 2010

The meaning of place...

Yesterday we celebrated the 100th year of our Carnegie Public Library with a birthday party, and I have found myself reflecting on the meaning of place. In History from Things, Essays on Material Culture, edited by Lubar and Kingery, I was surprised to see cemeteries and gardens being subjects of thoughtful discussion. Gardens, cemeteries and old buildings hardly fit the common sense definition of objects. But stretching things very slightly, one can see how the objects that we create, or that were created for us by others, frame our sense of reality, provide a sense of emotional certainty, and call us to our highest potentials as members of community.

I was too busy working with kids in our improvised wood shop to take many pictures or to wander much through the festivities. What could be seen at a glance was hundreds of people each gathered for a single thing... to celebrate their own personal relationship with our library.

Our party took up nearly a whole block, with crafts in both meeting rooms, and reading to children inside the library, in addition to all the street side activities as you can see in the photos above.

For the antique car lovers, the car in the photos is an extremely rare 1911 Model T Ford Touring. It is similar to those that would have driven by as our library was under construction.

Below, you can see my portraits of the library in quieter times. Some people don't see much value of such old things. I celebrate with those who do. And cherish those who invest in their preservation.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You live in a very beautiful place, which no doubt affected and informed your work.

Mario