My Creative Journey: Part 5 Folk Art
It was 1983. I was usually scouting Amish Country for old quilts and selling them to collectors in Australia, Japan and England. One weekend while poking around at the flea market in Berkshire, MA I came across a man who would again forever change my life.
William S. Greenspon was a Psychiatrist from the Upper West side in Manhattan, once married to Kay with two gorgeous boys Will and Cyrus but now married to Ginny Cleary who lived in Lenox MA. They shared an adorable daughter girl Amy.
Bill was an avid collector of Bauhaus furniture and also one of the leading folk art dealers in America. His personal collection included cigar store figures, model airplanes, , weather vanes, decoys, trade signs, Marcel Breuer furniture, Americana paintings, old toys, textiles and a patriotic Uncle Sam suit made from bottle caps.
Part of his collection was auctioned off after he passed away in 2006.
Bill was surly, grumpy, educated, entitled, brilliant and fabulous. His "eye" for the unique and wonderful was inspiring. He taught me to look at everything differently because "in everything there is beauty", but in real life the ponderings of a trade sign that explained the store it heralded or an old costume worn by an iconic minstrel, or a wooden limb dismembered from an old factory emblem, was a new and enlightening way of seeing the world. All of a sudden bits of metal left over from a construction site or wooden parts of other things discarded in the trash, when presented and staged on a beautiful stand, became valuable, meaningful art. So interesting that old "useful" things later can become uniquely beautiful sculpture!
Today I have my own personal collection. It includes duck decoys, old tools, turn of the century toys, antique furniture, cool money boxes, and old milk boxes, abstract metal workings, wooden boards, measuring scales, a teddy bear and many Christmas ornaments but my favorite is the 1905 wooden scooter that Bill gave me when Skye was born. It rests against the wall of my Cape upstairs hall way and every day I think of him and what he taught me.
I give unending gratitude to Bill for the way in which he inspired me; especially the insight to collate my totally diversified collection. We bickered and bantered about what makes "art" and why it is great but really...........according to Robert Delford Brown, Who knows?